BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Nov. 30, 2017–As we’re going to press tonight, our “Football Flashback” story on page 50 of this issue has unearthed an interesting piece of information, for me, at least. I had pointed out “Dada” (Edison Cooper) in the front row of Clinton Gardiner’s “West Block” team picture, because the caption wasn’t clear as to which three players actually constituted the front row in the picture. By identifying Dada, who I knew well (we sometimes called him “Big Dada”), having played on a team with him, it would follow that the next two players on our right would make up the front row.
But highlighting Dada led to an interesting aside, as it caught the attention of our editor, Russell Vellos, who played for some years in the 70s with the Belmopan Selection. Russell made an observation about Dada’s stepfather that is noteworthy; but he wasn’t 100% sure. I checked with my older brother, Nelson, who, as a BTA (later BTL) technician at the time, often visited the Belmopan BTA office where Dada worked, and he confirmed the relationship. And my younger brother, Colin, who lived in Belmopan and then Camalote, and frequented football games in Belmopan on weekends, removed all doubt. It turns out that Dada’s stepfather, a small but boisterous football fan and dedicated groundskeeper, who absolutely cherished his Belmopan football stars like Tash Gutierrez and Ray Davis, and who was known to most football players and fans in Belmopan as “Big Big,” is actually the man after whom the football stadium was later called, his official name being Isidoro Beaton.
Well, what do you know? What other tid bit will turn up from this trip down “memory lane”? Thanks again to Bro. Clinton “Mover” Gardiner, an old UBADer, for this week’s “Football Flashback.”