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A Football Legend!

Allan ‘Chico’ Hunte, rated as one of the most outstanding of St. Lucia’s footballers in the decades of the 1940s and 1950s. Here was a footballer whose game took him from the ‘made up’ grounds at Patterson Lands, the ‘Bayleaf’ area of Conway to top clubs in Curacoa and Latin America. He was a natural ball player, adding to his adroitness with leather, the talents of a more than capable cricketer, swimmer,volleyball and lawn tennis player. He was a La Pansee boy, elder brother of former St. Lucian Cricketer, Julian Hunte, who was to make name for himself as one of the leading cricket administrators in the West Indies.

He was loved by the crowds. His firm commitment to sports, ad his raw talent, especially in football, saw him sought after by all the major clubs on island. Chico Hunte started his football at an early age, when he was chosen to represent the Anglican School in the Wade Sheild competition, at the age of 10. Even then, he had established a reputation as a wizard with the ball, and this followed him to the St. Mary’s College. By age 16, he was already a fixture on the college side.

After leaving the St Mary’s College, he joined the fevered migration to the oil refineries of Curacoa in search of economic betterment. His talents as a footballer were soon recognized and he was drafted into the West Indies team which comprised refinery workers drawn from all over the Caribbean.

The league was semi-professional, as was to be expected in football crazy Curacoa. Hunte represented the West Indies team in matches against teams from Portugal and Venezuela, establishing himself as one of the rising stars in Latin American football. He was later picked to play for Young Holland, a team comprising top young footballers of Curacoa, in a league which included International stars from Portugal, Venezuela, Holland, Suriname and Trinidad. His abilities were such that he was picked to play league football in Columbia.

Hunte returned to St. Lucia in 1948, and was immediately absorbed into the national squad, playing matches against visiting warships and featuring in the inter-territorial games. At club level, he played, firstly fro Vempur, and after that for young men’s club (Y.M.P.C) at the centre half position, although his favoured position was at inner left.

By 1949, Hunte had moved again to V.A.D.C. It was a time when the V.A.D.C. was at its most powerful. Hunte featured prominently in the club games, leading the V.AD.C to two club championships.

He was also a competent Cricketer, playing for Notre Dame in the mid-fifties as an all rounder in the second division. He soon moved to New Park, playing under the captaincy of Mindoo Phillip when the team won the cricket championships in 1956. Hunte was good enough to gain selection on the Colts team which played against a Merchants team of Trinidad when they visited the island under the capataincy of Gary Sobers in 1956.

He also had the distinction of being St. Lucia’s table tennis champion beating Vincent Floissac, the leading player for 6 years, in a gripping final in 1948. Hunte left that year for the United Kingdom.

‘Outstanding Sports Personalities of St. Lucia’ By Rupert J. Branford

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