Legendary Belizean football star of the late 50’s and early 1960’s, Gilbert “Pine” Hernandez arrived in the Jewel on Saturday in time to see the Carnival parade. He is on a two-week visit to the old home town.
Pine was captain of the legendary Dunlop team, who moved up from Junior champions to take the Senior title around 1958-59 (?), shortly after which the team folded. He then led BEC to a number of championships before migrating to Chicago, U.S.A. The X wrote about this era in his “Sports, Sin and Subversion,” which features a picture of Dunlop on the front cover.
On this trip home, Pine brought us a picture of a Belize football team that just two weeks ago won its second consecutive championship of the Northern League in Waukegan, Illinois. Included in this “Team Belize” is Deon McCaulay, who is also expected back home soon to play in the Premier League tournament. Deon won the Most Goals award in the competition. Orange Walk star Marselino Tun was the Best Player, and a youngster named Matt Matus from Libertad received the Most Improved Player award. The team is coached by “Tun” Ortega, son of another Belizean legend, “Maya” Ortega, who, according to Vincent “Winty J” Johnson, presently resides in Santa Elena, Cayo.
Welcome home, and enjoy your stay, Pine.
(Ed. Note: The FFB heads, who are presently undertaking an administration course in Belmopan, should invite “General Pino” as perhaps a guest of honor at their closing ceremony, and try to avail themselves of the wisdom of this living legend of Belizean football.)