We all met talented people throughout our lives. This can evoke a wide range of feeling. From the wide-eyed awe to the upset of the green-eyed monster of jealousy. Those blessed with a facility to achieve more, and the dedication to make the most of that talent, can have an immensely positive impact on their communities. It’s doesn’t always turn out that way but when it does our focus is attracted. We look on with admiration, joy, and hopefulness. Hopefulness that the joy will rub off onto others and inspire.

The passing of the Brazilian footballer Pelé is the passing of an era. If it’s an image of a screen or picture in a newspaper he had the capability to shine. It’s a heavy weight to be classed as the “greatest players of all time.” Such accolades can be the ruination of a normal mortal. Afterall we are not built to be super-human.

To anyone under 30 years old, it’s not easy to convey the transition of television from a Black and White screen to a Colour screen. It seems so primitive. The kick-off of Pelé’s fame took place in the monochrome world. That didn’t dim our amazement at his talent. The dynamics of his movement. His ability to outwit those around him on the football field. The delight of elegant goals striking the back of the net. This summed up to be special.

Who would have thought that a Brazilian professional footballer would make the world a better place. For generations of young people kicking footballs around hard-hit neighbourhoods there’s a star. It doesn’t matter that few will have such great skill to show-off. What matters is the inspiration.

World Cup glory came his way three times. That’s unmatched. The bar has been set for those to come. Good luck to those who try.

R.I.P. Pelé.

Author: johnwvincent

Our man in Southern England

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