BELIZE CITY, Mon. Sept. 5, 2022
Belize’s old school veterans of football and music in Belize are in mourning again, as we received the news on Saturday that our beloved brother, a real cultural icon in football and music, Vincent “Winty J” or “J Vibes” Johnson had left this life on Friday. Winty J, who had been sharing his time between Mahogany Heights and Dangriga, had been ailing for some time.
In his youth in the mid-1960s, Winty J was a member of the original Messengers Combo, and he under-studied the legendary Louis “Bembe” “Di Mugga” Garbutt of Independence football fame, so that his idol’s nickname also stuck on him for a while, as fans began calling him “Lee Mugga.”
According to Rudolph “Bolo” McKoy of the Yabra Football Club, “When Winty J returned from New York he played daily at Yabra field until he was about 60 years old. I last spoke to him about 4 months ago when he came by the Yabra club house.”
Bolo also shared: “He may go down as the oldest semi-pro player in Belize’s history. At the age of 53 he played with Yabra Dolphins in the semi-pro league. He only played one half, but it was historical.”
We can say for a fact that Winty J took great pride in his game, and he played “sense ball”, taking great care in his passing.
We’ll have more about this brother “for all seasons” in our next issue.
Our sincere condolences from all of Kremandala to the relatives and friends of our departed brother, Vincent “Winty J” “New Yorker” “J Vibes” Johnson.