ALLAN “Allie” Cole Jr, the 46-year-old son of one of Jamaica's most famous footballers, Allan “Skill” Cole, is dead.
The younger Cole collapsed at his home in St Andrew on Sunday afternoon and was rushed to the University Hospital of the West Indies where he was pronounced dead.
Ryan Dawes, an Excelsior High schoolmate and Manning Cup football teammate of Cole in the late 1980s, told the Jamaica Observer that the cause of death is still unknown. However, the Observer understands that the deceased had complained of feeling ill earlier in the day. At the time of his death he was part of the management team at Excelsior High School Manning Cup team.
“When I received the news of Cole's death, it was a very big shock to me, as the last time we spoke was at the Manning Cup football match between Excelsior High School and Ardenne High School where we won 3-0 at Excelsior playing field last Saturday,” Dawes said.
Dawes, who played alongside Ali Cole Jr as a goalkeeper on the Excelsior High School winning Manning Cup team in 1989, added that Ali Cole was part of the football management team for the past five years.
“Ali was like a brother and father to the players, as he gave them very good advice. Whenever he is around, he always asked the players what they wanted and always asked if they were alright,” said Dawes.
According to Dawes, it will be a great loss for the players, the management team and his school and friends. “Cole always gives the players a lot of motivation.”
Allie Cole had played four years for Excelsior High School as a midfielder, and during that time won the Manning Cup title by defeating Charlie Smith High 1-0 in 1989, when he was also named the Most Valuable Player of the final. Excelsior High went on to win the Walker Cup KO title the following year in 1990, but Cole had already left school.
Cole's biggest defeat in his Manning Cup time was a 6-1 loss to St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS) in the 1987 Manning Cup final.
He also played for Excelsior in the Under-13 (Pepsi) and Under-16 (Colts) high schoolboy football competitions before playing in the Manning Cup competition.
As a result of his outstanding performances in the Manning Cup competition, Cole was called up as an invitee for training with the Senior National Squad in 1989, but was not selected for the National team.
After leaving school, Ali Cole played for Santos Football Club, an institution where his father played a big part helping it become a six-time national local champions in the 1970s. He also played for Arnett Gardens Football Club and Constant Spring Football Club.
Allan “Skill” Cole was the first Jamaican footballer to play club football in Brazil. He played for Nautico Football Club in the Brazilian Division One League during the early 1970s, after earning his first international cap for Jamaica as a teenager.