Student dies in Inter-Campus Games

Date Published: 
Jamaica Gleaner

Yesterday, because of the death of University undergraduate, 25-year-old Garth Taylor, who succumbed to an injury procured in a football game on Tuesday afternoon, all competition scheduled for the day was cancelled.

Taylor, a first year engineering student at the St. Augustine Campus of the University of the West Indies, was keeping goal for his team in a football game against Cave Hill in the Sixth Annual Inter-campus Games when he received the injury.

After only five minutes of play, Cave Hill were making a determined three-pronged attack on the St. Augustine goal, when Taylor, described by his colleagues as "a fearless goal-keeper" dived at the ball just before the shot was taken.

At full stretch, he collided with an opposing forward, his head coming into brutal contact with the forward's knee. He was dazed for a few moments and were thoughts of his resuming, but when it was seen after close scrutiny of the spot that there was a depression just over his right eye, it was decided to take him to hospital immediately. He was rushed off by Director of Sports, Keith Gardner.

An x-ray revealed that there was "a cup-shaped fracture and depression" and the decision was taken for an emergency operation to be performed.

Reports are that the operation itself was successful, but near the end sudden unexpected problems arose and despite the efforts of several doctors, he succumbed. Members of the team who had kept a nearly all-night vigil, were given the sad news at 3.30 a.m. that their colleague, who had been laughing and joking, even just before the operation, had died.

In paying tribute to his former team-mate, St. Augustine's captain Donald Campbell said, "he was always a source of inspiration to us. He was a man who liked the game and always tried his best. He was also an unfortunate goalkeeper. I can hardly remember a match when something did not happen to him, but it was always something of a minor nature. This I still can't believe."

The player with whom Taylor collided was reported to have been in his room all day yesterday, feeling very dejected, even though it was accepted all round that it had been a genuine and unfortunate accident.

Yesterday morning, Dwight Day, a member of the St. Augustine team and a very close friend of the Taylor family, left the Palisadoes Airport for Trinidad. He has the grim task of breaking the news to Taylor's parents.

The football section of the series has been scrapped but competition in the other sports will resume today. A meeting was held yesterday to decide whether the whole Games should be scrapped, but the final decision was that they should go on.

Condolence on the death came from the Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Roy Marshall, the Director of Sports Keith Gardner, the three teams taking part in the Games, the presidents of the three undergraduate Guilds and the sponsors of the Games, Desnoes and Geddes Ltd. A requiem mass will be said for Taylor, later this week.