(See Part 2 on page 53. Cador re-lives the dramatic season-opening confrontation between the young defending champions, Dunlop, and the team he then played with, Landivar.)
BELIZE CITY, Wed. June 3, 2020– I had a hunch to review a past Amandala Sports story, “A chat with Cador,” where we had interviewed 1960s Belize football star Anton “Cador” Thurton, who was on a visit home to Belize for the 2017 September celebrations. However, when we pulled up the Amandala story from the internet (Google), it ended abruptly with the above caption in brackets, and there was no Part 2 continuation on the web site. Luckily, I had located my old note pad, and so I thought I would try to reconstruct Part 2, the rest of the interview, especially in honor of recently departed Dunlop legend, Gilbert “Pine” Hernandez.
C (Cador): And as that game start, mein… and Angus Vernon pushed a ball through to me. Now, the goalkeeper thought I would stop the ball, because I opened my legs over the pass, and di same way I spin around, and BAM! When I hit that ball…
A (Amandala): Who was minding goal for them (Dunlop)?
C: A guy, Solis (Charles)… And I slammed that ball… direct eena di “V”. Peeno watched me and he shook his head. Going home with that game, we had them 1-nil. 1-nil we got them all the way going home; and with the last 7 or 8 minutes to play, Peeno get wahn ball… because Peeno talk di whole game. Hihn wahn talk da whole game i play, right? And i tek wahn ball an i shub it through to Mugga, bwai; and Mugga cut een, because dehn time deh Mugga was a very… God bless him… he was the best left wing we had.
A: Dehn put one een, no?
C: Listen ya, bwai!
A: Yaa, Mugga was not’n nice!
C: Boy, and hihn move eeen; and when hihn slam da ball pahn Charlie Gardiner; but i late, because Charlie jump and Charlie knock di ball down, let it be a corner, right? Ellis went to kick di corner. No, Mugga went to kick di corner; and Ellis said, “No, let me kick it, Mugga.” Peeno said, “Yaa, mek Ellis kick it.”
C: Peeno; Pine. Because, I will tell you something; Pine is a captain, no? A very strict and disciplined player, hihn!! If you no disciplined, you kyan play with hihn! Because hihn di mek yo know; hihn run tings! Listen to weh di happen here! Dig?!
A: So, Chico gaan tek di corner?
C: Chico tek di corner; (Gilbert, Jr.) Ellis. And i send di ball cross di goal, right? All I hear Peeno seh, “Bwai, Mugga, like dis!” BAM! wid wahn head, right eena di corner.
C: No; di ball left wid wahn cabeza off a Peeno head right eena di goal. And i (Peeno) run and pick up di ball; and yer weh i tell mi… “Yaa; da right ya yo get it, Cador.” (laughs) Because I look pahn ahn like i di get it, and i seh, “Yaa, da right ya yo get it. Yes, set up; set up.” So he carried the ball and we spot up again. And he continued, “Yo know we wahn kick off di ball, bap-bap, and we wahn win dis, right?”
Cador went on to explain how Peeno’s prophecy came true, to his utter dismay.
Shortly after kickoff, Dunlop’s superb ball passing set the table for another header.
According to Cador, when Charlie collected the ball, all he had to do was hold the ball a little to let some time run off the clock. But Charlie quickly kicked the ball out, where the more skillful Dunlop took possession; and their passes were like clockwork.
C: Charlie kicked the ball out, and Dunlop got the ball right back. And it was …. Bap-bap… bap-bap…bap-bap… bap-bap… bap-bap. And when it was centered across the goal, Peeno moved in and said, “Yes, bwai, Cador, hahn!!” And BAM!
That was a real heart-breaker for Cador, who explained his reaction to the 2-1 loss.
C: I cried; I cried… You know what? This same house right here (at NW corner of Pound Yard Bridge)… I sat on the verandah; yaa, I couldn’t go anywhere. And my mother asked me, “What’s wrong with you?” She said, “Yo lose, no?” She said, “But yo know, man, dehn bwai da yo crowd; you suppose to play wid dem bwai.” I said, “Mammy, a no wahn hear dehn wid not’n; I lose.” I said, “I’m not going out there.”
But, time heals wounds, and Cador would get his revenge.
A: But in that season (1959-60), after Dunlop had won in 1958-59, I think Landivar did come back and win that season, right?
C: Yes! That’s what I am telling you, mein, because the two teams could a mi play (that season); then BEC came in (into dominance, after Pine and others had moved over from Dunlop to BEC).
(For the record, Landivar won 1959-60; BEC won 1960-61 and 1961-62, which was only a Knockout, due to Hurricane Hattie. Brodies won 1962-63 and 1963-64.)
Cador said he played 3 seasons with Landivar, and then 3 with Brodies, racking up a few championships along the way. He travelled to both Honduras and Guatemala to play football with the Landivar team; and he also had a number of appearances with the All Belize selection.
The last few years of his playing career in Belize was a sort of reunion with childhood teammates and friends on Independence.