Former T&T captain, 'The Tank', passes away

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Trinidad Express

Tyrone DeLaBastideTyrone DeLaBastide: Battle with cancer.

Former Trinidad and Tobago football captain Tyrone de la Bastide passed away on Sunday in Whitby, Ontario, Canada, after a long and courageous battle with cancer.

Fondly known as "The Tank", de la Bastide, 68, a rugged defender, was a member of the first-ever national team to participate in a World Cup qualifying competition, for the 1966 FIFA World Cup finals.

In 1959, the former Maple great was among the T&T contingent on a West Indies team to tour England.

De la Bastide, though short in stature, was a hard-hitting tackler, hence his nickname, and skippered the St Mary's College 1957 team, the first school to win the Port of Spain Football League.

The ailing former footballer last visited this country for that St Mary's team's 50-year reunion last June.

At the first reunion of that team for 20 years, the determined de la Bastide, despite his illness, stated: "If they know me, they know they couldn't have stopped me (from coming to the reunion)."

In 1968, de la Bastide was a member of the national team which played against Haiti and Guatemala for the 1970 World Cup qualifiers. De la Bastide was also a dedicated member of the BWIA Graduates' Football Team.

He was an employee of the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission for 36 years.

He leaves to mourn his wife, Grace, and step-children, Norline Metivier, Stanley Metivier, Catherine Mosca, Judy King and Grace (Gem) Chan and their spouses Selwyn, Diana, Daniel, Alfred (Junior) and Colin. His funeral service will be held in Canada and a celebration of his life will be held in Trinidad on a date and venue to be announced.