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Jamaica American Maverley inc.

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MAVERLEY'S McNEIL, BOLT'S FIRST COACH DIES AT 72

Posted by Jamaica American Maverley inc. on November 17, 2012 at 1:15 AM

Pablo Mcneil son of mr. Mac caretaker of Maverley flowers park back in the 1960's lived on Mobberly ave. Maverley. 

There was a grief mixed with laughter as the late Olympian and track and field coach Pablo McNeil was laid to rest on Saturday after a thanksgiving service at the William Knibb Battist Church in Falmouth.

McNeil, who died suddenly on July 4 after he was admitted to the Falmouth General Hospital, was remembered as a staunch disciplinarian, a fearless campaigner for decency and order, and a man with a big laugh

Executives from the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA), Jamaica Olympic Association, Jamaica Paralympics Association, politicians and former atlethes all paid tributes to McNeil, who participated in the1964 and 1968 Olympics Games and also served as in the diplomatic corps as Honoary Counsul for Jamaica in California.

Ian Andrews, administrative director of in sport, where McNeil was employed as a sports officer, described him as a hero an upright man" before delivering a tribute in song. Lorna Jackson, who read a tribute on behalf of William Knibb Memorial High School where McNeil was a track coach for several years, remembered McNeil as "a task master", but one "who was kind to students.

She tol a story about a day when the canteen at the school had run out of food and McNeil announceed that even if he had to losehis job, he was allowing the students to go to Falmouth to get food asit was unfair for them to go hungry.

Jackson had the mourners laughing when she spoke the aversion to litter and relayed that during the school's sports day he saw someone throw an empty drinka box on the auditorium floor, she said after several demands  that the litterbug take up the box were not adhered to, McNeil proceeded to "drape up the man", only for someone looking on to ruch to McNeil's aid, telling him that the man he had in "custody" was in fact a police officer.

The sports areas including the running track, football field and netball courts had to be spotless, she said, as McNeil would describe them as his "office" and would delegate students to pick litter, joining in himself.

Several speakers remembered his booming laughter, imposing physical appearance and a coach ho did not tolerate excusees of any kind". McNeil who made it to the semi-finals of the 100m his first Olympic appearance, The Olympian represented Jamaica in 100m at the Tokyo Games in 1964  and Mexico City in 1968 in 1964 he reached the semi-finalsof the 100m his best result came in 1965 when he won gold in the 200m, he also wore the national colours at the 1966 commanwealth Games in Kingston and was a member of the team which won silver in the silver the 4x100 yards relay.

After retirement McNeil became the sprint coach at William Knibb High School where he was credited with getting Usain Bolt  the successful switch from cricket to track and field.

McNeil coach Bolt up to the age of 16 before the prodigy made the move to kingston to the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association.

McNeil intended to write a book titled "The Bolt Of Ligthing and Me", He suffered a stroke in December 2007 his vision from then on was impaired, McNeil predicted that Bolt he's going to be the greatest spinter ever,  but could not watch his former athlete win gold in the 100 and 200m because of his vision.

A release from Usain Bolt who was in europe, expressed sadness of the passing of his high school coach Pablo McNeil,

I am sadden by the passing of my first coach in High School Pablo McNeil, he was a part a part of my early track and field life i apppreciate he sought to pass on to me, I would like offer my condolences and sympathites to his family and close friends Bolt said.

Pablo McNeil worked at William Knibb between 1990 to 1999 when he retired, but retunned breifly in 2002 to work with Bolt leading up to the Boys Champs in 2002, Bolt later that year became the youngest ever IAAF World Junior Champian when the 200m in Kingston a month a head of his 16th birthday. Pablo McNeil born 1939, died on 4th july 20011 he was 72 years old.

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