Posted: Sunday, April 10, 2022. 4:31 pm CST.
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: John Fitzgerald King was an accomplished football player having reached as far as the Belize Men’s National Football Team (BMNT), but on Saturday night his life was cut short by a rain of bullets in Belize City as he opened the door of a friend’s house to see who was shouting outside.
His tragic death has sent shock waves through Belize’s football community.
At 28 years of age, King played for practically all the Premier League of Belize teams suiting up for Verdes, the Belize Defense Force, Wagiya, Police United, the San Pedro Pirates, the Placencia Assassins, the Belmopan Bandits, and Caesar Ridge FC. He even played for the National Beach Football Team.
Shot in his buttocks in June 2021, King turned to music and had even cut a couple of music videos. But he didn’t leave football. This season he was playing for Belize City’s Caesar Ridge in the FFB Top League.
“It’s always a sad day when we have to make these types of posts, but it’s even more heartbreaking when it’s about an individual full of so much potential who lost his life to gun violence,” wrote the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) on social media on Sunday.
“The Football Federation of Belize, President Sergio Chuc, and the entire executive body send condolences to the family and friends of John King. John King played with the National Senior Men’s team, the National Beach soccer team as well as several Semi-pro teams. He was very passionate about the sport and won several championships with his teams.
“Footballers and musicians from across the country are mourning this great loss,” said the FFB
“The Caesar Ridge Football Club mourns the death of its current player John King who was tragically murdered. We extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the family and friends of John King. Belize Football has lost a great, young, and prominent talent who has represented Belize regionally and internationally,” said Caesar Ridge FC with whom King was playing this season
“Bandits Sport sends our deepest condolences to the family of John King. May his soul rest in peace and rise in glory,” said the Belmopan Bandits.
“We are saddened by the bad news of the passing of a former player of the San Pedro Pirates FC, John King. Condolences go to his family, friends, and his teammates! King, we will always remember you as a happy team player!” said the San Pedro Pirates with whom he played the 2020-2021 season.
“Rest In Peace Baller,” wrote Altitude FC.
“ONCE A VERDES ALWAYS A VERDES! With saddened hearts from the entire Verdes family to John’s family and loved ones, our deepest sympathies. May our brother, friend, fellow player REST IN PEACE. We will always remember him fondly and with love. From: Verdes FC Management, staff, players and all our fans and extended football family!” Verdes expressed their condolences.
“Wasabei bemeri (go in peace),” posted Wagiya Sporting Club in Garifuna. “Gone too soon young soldier.”
“Born in Belize City and raised in the Jungle area John King was very active, from an early age, in playing football with the Brown Bombers youth football club while attending Holy Redeemer RC School,” said the BDF FC in an article about John King the team posted in January 2020.
“Majority of the youth within the Pickstock community was loyal to the Basketball sport, but John or “King” as he is affectionately known, was different, he fell in love with football and that gave him the opportunity to join; back then powerhouse and 3 times, back to back to back Champions, BDF FC as the “Rookie” in 2007 at the age of 15, along with players such as Woodrow West, Deon McCaulay, David Trapp, Trevor Lennan, Vallan Symns, and Danny Jimenez, just to name a few.”
The BDF goes on to relate King’s story as he passed through the Bandits in Belmopan where he won his fourth championship, the Placencia Assassins with whom he won a fifth championship, his stint with Police United for whom he scored an international goal against Pachuca of Mexico in the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League, moving then to Verdes in the West, and Wagiya in the South.
King, as mentioned earlier, was now playing for Belize City’s Caesar Ridge, after claiming five national championships and two national sub championships.
Rest in peace, John Fitzgerald King.
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