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Sporting icon Herbert laid to rest

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Sporting icon Herbert laid to rest

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THE MAN they called Big City got his big send-off.
It was the last chance to see Derek Herbert, and luminaries of the boxing, football and basketball fraternities didn’t waste the opportunity yesterday to pay their final respects to a sporting icon who touched almost every local discipline.
Sports administrator Kathy Harper-Hall and Boxing Board of Control chairman James Marshall, along with former basketball president Gay Griffith and current football executives David Hinds and Sherlock Yarde were among those who formed part of congregation at the funeral service conducted by Pastor David Holder at the Church of the Nazarene on Collymore Rock.
Several members of the Notre Dame Football Club, Police cricket team and the Station Hill Cavaliers were also in attendance to bid their final farewell to a man remembered as both a sporting icon and a humanitarian.
“Derek was a sporting icon whose tentacles touched most of the sporting disciplines,” said close friend and former custodian of the National Stadium, Frank Gill, while delivering the eulogy.
“He gained his degree from the university of life, majoring in the field of sports.”
“But outside of his calling as a sports medic, Derek was a humanitarian,” added Gill.
A former staffer of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for nearly four decades, Herbert had the distinction as serving as a medic or trainer for six different national programmes – cricket, basketball, boxing, volleyball and hockey.
But it was in the sport of boxing where Herbert truly made a name for himself, having served as a licensed World Boxing Council judge and referee for 27 years and some 98 bouts.
Even in his recent retirement days Herbert was still training prospective officials in boxing.
This after Big City played crucial roles in the extended success of champion volleyball side Deacons and perennial basketball champs Station Hill Cavaliers.
 “Even if he was the only medic on tour and a player from another team suffered an injury Derek would still give them that assistance, and he would give that assistance free of cost,” Gill recalled.
Veteran entertainer and friend Richard Stoute gave a rendition of It’s Hard to Say Goodbye before Pastor Holder told the congregation in his sermon that one should not fear death once he gives his life to God.
Herbert died at the age of 60 on May 22 and his interment took place at the Westbury Cemetery. (JM)