SPORTS fan Nasser Khan recently published Remembering a Sporting Legend, a book highlighting the career of local sportsman Marcus Minshall.
Khan said Minshall, from all accounts, was the most versatile sportsman, yet the most under-celebrated ever to represent TT.
“Older brother of TT’s renowned artist/designer-masman Peter, he earned the nickname Sheriff," Khan said.
Minshall had "swagger" according to Khan and was known for "smoking a pipe."
Minshall attended Tranquillity Government Primary School and then Queen’s Royal College (QRC), from where he graduated with the Higher Certificate level in Science. He later attended the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture.
Khan said, “I am not sure what prompted my fascination with the sporting career of Marcus Minshall, but more than likely it was a spark provided in a conversation about remarkable TT sportsmen and women of yesteryear, especially those who represented us in more than one sport.
"In one of those conversations it was mentioned that there was this Marcus Minshall who would have played many a sport in his heyday…more than ten! As a researcher I was hooked, and this publication is the result.”The book, largely pictorial, contains photographs attesting to the multitude of sports (19 if you count billiards and snooker separately) at which Minshall excelled.
Minshall died in 1970 when he was just 38 of Hodgkin’s lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system). He had made his name in the local and Caribbean sporting circle, representing TT in cricket (see https://www.windiescricket.com/players/marcus-minshall-3855/), rugby, football, basketball and water polo, and also at club level in hockey, golf, lawn and table tennis, swimming, snooker/billiards and darts.
“He was also good, again from all accounts, at rifle shooting, boxing, dominoes, bridge and rummy/romey…he even...climbed Mt (El) Tucuche,” Khan said.
Khan spoke to former national athletes about Minshall while writing the book.
“His prowess in the various sporting disciplines was carefully researched and corroborated with and by those who played alongside or against him as well as others who knew him. Such fellow sportsmen included Bryan Davis, Willie Rodriguez...Alvin Corneal, Jean Mouttet, Andy Aleong, Ken Gordon, John Humphrey, Nigel Slinger, Kenneth Moss, Eric de Verteuil, Rolly Forde, Joe and Phillip Hadeed, Douglas Clarke, Robert Grell and David Butler. Special thanks go to Valerie Stollmeyer and his sister Shirley/Petal for their support and in depth information and insight into who was Marcus Minshall.”
Minshall’s younger brother Peter admired his pedigree in sports, something he could not emulate despite his own extraordinary talent.
“I was never going to make it on either the cricket or football team, nor even as a reserve or last resort,” Peter said. “Captain of anything was entirely out of the question. I was therefore most certainly not Victor Ludorum material. But as it turned out I would have my own special part to play.”
Minshall was the captain of both the football and cricket teams at QRC and Victor Ludorum.
The TT rugby fraternity still honours Minshall’s contribution to the sport. Khan said, “Today we hear the name Marcus Minshall and associate the name with rugby. Suffice it to say that from all accounts Minshall was a sportsman who always vied for excellence in every sport he played. He left a lot for us to cherish in the sporting arena, and the nation will continue to remember his name and legacy especially when the annual Marcus Minshall Cup (rugby) is referred to and competed for.”
Khan hopes fervently that Minshall will be inducted into the First Citizens Sports Foundation’s Hall of Fame in 2022.
This is Khan’s 22nd publication. He can be contacted at 387-2731.