Reggae Girlz manager Jean Nelson dies after short illness

By Sports Desk September 12, 2021
Nelson (centre) died after a short battle with cancer. Nelson (centre) died after a short battle with cancer.

Reggae Girlz team manager Jean Nelson has died after a short illness, the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) announced on Sunday. Nelson, who was the first official president of the Jamaica Women’s Football Association passed away on Saturday.

Nelson, a  former player, was a stalwart and a giant in her support of women’s football. Her love for the game, even in its infancy, led her to drive relentlessly for its organization and development locally. She was one of the driving forces who started the first women’s football league circa 1990, the JFF said.

Nelson was the manager of the senior women’s team, the Reggae Girlz, for many years and managed Jamaica’s first and only team to the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France in 2019.

“Usually when the anthem plays, I close my eyes because it's so deep so I expect it to be very touching. I have always wanted to serve my country; it's fulfilling, it's an honour,” Nelson said then.

“The Jamaica Football Federation sends sincere condolences to her family and friends and especially the Reggae Girlz who have lost a matriarch. May her soul rest in eternal peace,” the JFF’s statement concluded.

Meanwhile, the Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) also expressed grief at Nelson's passing.

"As the first official President of the Jamaica Women's Football Association and the Manager of the National Senior Women's Football team, Jean was loved by many and displayed her passion and love for the game of football through her years of service to the sport," KSAFA said in a statement released Sunday.

"Jean was a close personal friend and former co-worker and we both shared the love for the beautiful game of football," said KSAFA President Wayne Shaw.

"It was her passion. She has served the country with distinction and she will be greatly missed. Condolences to her daughter Renee and family members and the football fraternity."

Our thoughts and prayers go out to her loved ones and we honour her legacy. May her soul rest in eternal peace, the KSAFA statement said.

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