|On Saturday, July 7 the Fourth Annual Linden E. Walters Memorial Soccer
Classic will take place at Prince George's Community College in Largo, Md.
beginning at 8 a.m.-6 p.m. The event will feature 10 teams vying for the
championship trophy plus a special all-star match featuring former members of
the Jamaica National Team vs. an All Caribbean Team made up of players from
other national teams throughout the Caribbean. This free event is being
presented by Linden United and Hustler Soccer Clubs. The two organizations
share a unique connection, the Classic's namesake, Linden E. Walters. Walters
died suddenly on July 12, 1997. He was 40.
His transition came just hours after participating in a soccer practice with
members of Hustlers Soccer Club in preparation for an annual tournament in
Jamaica. He was watching a cricket match when he died of a cardiac a
rhythmia. His passing was so unexpected that even his friend and former
Hustler teammate, Yero "Earl" Radway, was convinced that the guys were
playing a joke on him when they told him "Wally" had died. "It was a complete
shock, absolutely unexpected because Wally was a healthy guy. He was active
and trained often because he took the game very seriously," said Radway.
Soccer was indeed a lifelong passion for Walters, explained his widow Dr.
Ursula McClymont-Walters, a family physician/geriatrician on faculty at the
University of Maryland School of Medicine and the Union Memorial Hospital.
Walters came to the U.S. from Guyana in 1981. On the advice of a friend he
went and showcased his soccer skills for the coach at the University of the
District of Columbia (UDC). The coach was sufficiently impressed to offer him
a soccer scholarship. At UDC he studied Architecture and Civil Engineering
and he would later earn a Masters of Science in Civil Engineering from the
University of Maryland. He worked as an architect for several years in the
District before moving to the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning
Commission (MNCPPC). It was while Walters was at UDC that he met McClymont in
1983. She was then a student at Howard University. The pair dated until they
married in 1991. They have two sons, Tyler Linden, 7, and Malik Noel, 3.
Walters also has two other children - Shaffon and Seon.
Through it all soccer remained a consistent component of Walters' life.
McClymont-Walters said he played for many different teams in the area and
even travelling internationally to play. Walters joined Hustlers in an annual
tournament in Jamaica and it is a tradition that the team continues. He
helped organize a tournament in Toronto, Canada, with the Guyana Veterans
Soccer Club (GVSC). The event was part of celebrations for Guyana's
Independence Day. After his death GVSC also established a tournament in his
honor that takes place over the Memorial Weekend. In 1995 Walters formed the
Guyana Soccer Club (GSC) even though he maintained ties and played in
tournaments under Hustlers' colors. GSC has since been renamed Linden United.
Radway said that he and Walters spoke often about organizing a soccer
tournament for local Caribbean teams. Regrettably it wasn't until after his
death that this wish was realized. One year after his passing the last two
teams that he played with organized a memorial game in his honor. For year
two, Starliners, a Guyanese soccer club for whom Walters played in the 1980s,
was invited to participate. And this year the Classic has been opened up to
"We wanted to keep the event small, in keeping with how Linden approached the
game. So we limited the invitation to teams with which he was associated. We
wanted it to be kept more personal and fun," said McClymont-Walters.
More than a celebration of the game Walters loved, organizers hope that the
Memorial Classic will also further some of his charitable works.
McClymont-Walters said that on trips to Guyana or Jamaica, Walters always
carried an extra bag full of pencils, pens, books, T-shirts, shoes and soccer
equipment that he would give away in needy areas. The Memorial Committee
continues that legacy. With the assistance of sponsors they donated 75 full
sets of soccer uniforms and equipment to eight school teams in Guyana.
At the Memorial Classic there will be boxes for attendees to donate school
supplies like crayons, paper, pencils as well as socks, balls and soccer
equipment. Cash donations are also welcomed. Checks can be made payable to
the Linden E. Walters Memorial Soccer Tournament Committee and sent to P.O.
#7, Jessup, MD 20794. The Committee also hopes to donate money to the girls'
soccer team at Prince George's College and/or establish a scholarship for a
student/player of Caribbean descent.
On Friday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. there will be soccer clinic for kids (5-14
years) at the Acredale Park (corner of University Blvd. & Metzerott Rd., in
University Park, MD). No pre-registration or prior experience required. The
family friendly atmosphere continues on Saturday at Prince George's Community
College with some of the area's best soccer players in competition. But off
the field, there will booming reggae music and lots of Caribbean food (fried
fish, jerk chicken, curry chicken, rice & peas, plantain and FREE hotdogs for
kids) to tempt every taste bud.
For more information about the activities of the Memorial Committee and the
weekend classic call 202-257-4667 or 410-925-8298 or the website
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