As a young child, being surrounded by a never ending stream of football players and administrators was the norm. But in the midst of the flock of young football mad lovers, one young man stood out and caught the attention and admiration of my father.
That young, fearlessly and intensely loyal East End Lions supporter went by the name of Unisa Alim Sesay.
Such was the love and admiration that my father had for this young man that it wasn't long before Alim Sesay virtually became a son and family member inseparable from my father. Their bond and friendship was quite a special and enviable one.
My father's unconditional love for you Alhaji, earned you a place in our hearts and in turn we the biological children of my dad embraced you as our eldest brother.
Unfortunately, life has its way of testing the strength of the very fabric that binds us all together love, trust, loyalty and so on.
The worst time in one's life is when one is unable to say those words which you know you feel deep down inside to your loved ones before they depart. Words like;
“THANK YOU”, “I LOVE YOU”, “SORRY”, “FORGIVE ME”
But I will take this opportunity on behalf of my father (your father), Pa M. R. Tejan-Cole, My brothers and sisters (your siblings) to say this to you;
We never stopped caring and loving you, we always tried to find the lighter side of the hurtful things that were said and done to our family (your family) even though they brought tears and sleepless nights to the family.
You were a hero in your own right and your brilliance and love for country and the continent was one that few would question.
May the Almighty forgive us all for whatever wrong and hurt we may have caused each other and those around us.
As you leave us big brother, I know that our father would have wanted to hold you, pray for you, tell you just how much he treasured the friendship you both shared but it was never to be.
We pray that God embrace you and that you find the forgiveness and peace that we all wish for in the life after."
Copyright 2014 The Sierra Leone Football Association.
Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being giving to the Communications Desk of the FA as source.