Keith “Slick” Bonadie-Clarke, one of St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ greater mid-fielders ever in soccer died on April 18 at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn. He was 58.
His elder brother Bertie Hadaway told Caribbean Life, in an exclusive interview on Monday, that Bonadie-Clarke, who represented the nation in soccer from the late 1970s to 1980s, died from cardiac arrest after suffering a stroke in August 2015.
Hadaway also said his brother, who was born on Aug. 15, 1957, had suffered from hypertension and diabetes.
Stanley “Luxie” Morris — one of St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ sports ambassadors, under whose captaincy Bonadie-Clarke played at home and in New York, for Hairoun Sports Club — said Bonadie-Clarke was “destined to be one of the best ever player out of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and even the Caribbean.
“And why shouldn’t he have been? Perhaps the most contributing factor which mounded him was the fact that he was born and grew up around ‘greatness’ in the embodiment of three of the truly most outstanding players ever, and who all lived literally mere yards from one another,” Morris told Caribbean Life.
He identified the former national soccer stars, who lived in the vicinity of Victoria Park in lower Kingstown, the Vincentian capital, as Bonadie-Clarke’s uncle, referred to only as “Doyle,” Norbert Hall and Rudolph “Rudy” Boucher.
Morris said Bonadie-Clarke “controlled the center of the mid-field with such grace and poise.
“He was very passionate about the game and played with assertion,” he said, adding that Bonadie-Clarke’s trademark was “that killer pass, which he used to open up /dissect opposing defenses.”
Morris said Bonadie-Clarke was also “a very quiet individual – an introvert even, but one who didn’t lack confidence.”
“He liked to draw, and he designed uniforms for Rick’s Superstars (SVG), and also for Team SVG (US),” Morris said.
Gailene Windsor, another of St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ sports ambassadors, said she was saddened to learn about Bonadie-Clarke’s passing.
“As a sports personality, while representing SVG in netball, I found him to be very humble; never seeing himself as above the rest of his team,” said Windsor, who was also president of the Brooklyn-based Hairoun Sports Club, while Bonadie-Clarke was a member of the team.
“[He was] always willing to do his best in putting SVG on the map,” she added. “He was considered one of the best mid-fielders in his lifetime. May his soul R.I.P [rest in peace].”
Members of the Vincentian soccer fraternity are expected to be among hundreds of mourners paying their last respects to Bonadie-Clarke on Sunday, May 1, at a wake and funeral service, at El Caribe Funeral Home, 1922 Utica Ave., near Avenue L, in Brooklyn.
The wake begins at 4:30 p.m., and the funeral service follows at 7 pm, Hadaway said.
He said Bonadie-Clarke will be interred the next day at the Canarsie Cemetery in Brooklyn.