A pan and music lover. The number one Trinidad All Stars fan. An iconic football coach and a St Anthony’s Tiger forever... Mentor to young men, a limer, comedian, old-talker. Loved by many and loving many others. But mostly, “Grovy” was a great human being.
Former St Anthony’s College and Queen’s Royal College coach Nigel “Grovy” Grosvenor was lovingly remembered yesterday at his send-off, a funeral consisting of just ten family members, due to Covid-19 restrictions. But having touched many, another 1,000 tuned in to the live stream of the memorial service for the local football coach, who won six secondary schools InterCol and three national league titles with St Anthony’s College before, at age 63, he fell victim to the Covid-19 pandemic which has already claimed a million lives worldwide.
Giving the eulogy, his daughter, attorney Qia Grosvenor, began nervously and was tear-filled, but at the end was glowing with pride in remembrance of his life. Cousin Lisa James re-lived childhood memories, while Debbie Nahous sang a rendition of Ave Maria. Having gotten to know Grosvenor through his earlier battle with cancer, father Harold Imamshah also had a few special words.
“A star shines and Grovy will be no exception. He will continue to shine,” father Imamshah said.
A former national Under-17 coach, Grosvenor was described by those closest to him as being a man of many parts. He was a Brazil and Arsenal fan, and also protector of his nieces and investigator of the characters of boys wanting to be with them. He was also a mentor to his nephews, friend of his many cousins and the old-talker on the group chat among the extended family.
Born on August 31, 1957, Grosvenor celebrated every birthday with relish, until September 25, 2020 when he died.
“He was a true never-see-come-see,” stated daughter Qia.
She also remembers “daddy” as a patient man, who would wait for three hours in the Hugh Wooding Law School car park, while his daughter sat exams.
“He would say that he preferred to pick us up at 4 a.m. from a party because he was sure we would all reach home safely,” Qia recalls.
“Daddy loved to boast,” Qia stated. “He proud to tell anyone willing to listen that his little girl had become a big lawyer. He was also thrilled when his daughter Qichelle gave him a grandchild.” Grosvenor’s aspiration to be a national footballer ended with a knee injury, but the academic and football accomplishments of his son—former national youth footballer Qian Grosvenor—brought him great joy.
Grosvenor was also a limer and a drinker whose grandmother lived on Henry Street, Port of Spain, around the corner from the All-Stars panyard.
“It was no surprise when Nigel became a lifelong member of the All Stars family. Nigel was a fixture in the panyard during the carnival season,” his cousin Lisa James recalled. “Although he couldn’t play a note, he knew what the arrangement was and was always the one to look out for on the stage, complete with towel on his shoulder.”
Grosvenor joined St Anthony’s College in 1983 as physical education teacher, after completing a four-year football scholarship at West Virginia University. He later took on the role of football coach and might have been St Anthony’s most popular Dean of Discipline, as established by the online contributions of some of the men he coached, among them Abiola Clarence, Julius James, Kenwyne Jones and Brent Rahim.
“S.I.P Grovy. Condolences from the Jones family,” former English Premiership striker and T&T captain Kenwyne Jones commented online. St Anthony’s College, where Grosvenor served for 35 years, became an extension of his life. He was later welcomed openly to Queen’s Royal College in 2018 where he served before he retired due to illness. Grosvenor met his wife at St Anthony’s College and loved the school so much, that his wedding reception was held there.
“His co-workers became our aunts and uncles. His players became our brothers,” stated his daughter, who recalled the many house limes and good times had at their home.