TRINIDAD and Tobago netball fraternity lost a legend with the passing of Janet Bailey.
She died at her daughter’s residence in the United States on Friday night, aged 80.
Bailey, who was inducted into the Netball Hall of Fame, was a member of the national netball team at the first-ever World Netball Championship in Eastbourne, England, in 1963.
And she went on to represent her country in two more world tournaments 1971 and 1975.
Among her peers on that first world series were Marjorie John, Judy Francis, Enid Browne, Phyllis Pierre-Walker and the late Jean Pierre.
The powerfully- built Bailey was a stalwart goal-keeper, and many goalshoots and goal-attacks feared that big left hand.
After one game between a men’s team and the nationals in a practice match at the Eddie Taylor Court, later the Lystra Lewis Court, Princes Building grounds, legendary West Indies fast bowler Wes Hall who was in the men’s team said “she beat me more than my mother.” Bailey and a cadre of top netballers, Pierre-Walker, the late Pearl Francis and John entered the Police service and made that netball team champions.
On leaving the service, Bailey became a member of Carib Senators and teamed up with another national star goal-defence Althea Thomas to form a destructive defensive duo while winning the Port -of-Spain Netball League title multiple times.
Always flashing a broad smile, “Jay” as she was popularly called by her peers was the mother of three girls—Jacinta, Jeanne and Jessel.
Only Jeanne followed her footsteps into the top flight of netball, becoming one of the country’s elite goal-shoots.
After her playing days, Bailey entered into administration and became president of the Port -of-Spain Netball League for two consecutive terms.