THE sports of football and tennis are mourning the loss of Winston Grazette.

The former football player and coach, who was in his late 70s, passed away at his home in Carenage on Thursday night after battling a stroke for the last few months.

Despite the fact that he never competed in the sport, Winston played a significant part in making the Grazette name arguably the most popular in tennis in Trinidad during the course of the last three decades. He played for Peterborough Club in the Port of Spain Football League in the 1970s, but introduced his six children to tennis and turned three of them into champions. After Bob Valentine coached his oldest child Paula—a very talented and respected player of the 1970s and 80s—Grazette took the reins of the others.

His second child Ivor, now in his mid-40s, went on to become the most successful locally-based player in the country for more than a decade from the late 90s, winning singles and doubles titles in almost every tournament and representing the country countless times in Davis Cup.

Winnington was arguably even more talented than Ivor, but after reaching a career-high 714 in the world in juniors in 2002, he had a short senior career and only captured one major singles title—the A division crown of the Public Courts Classified Championships.

Dayna, who is four years younger at age 31, was in the group of the top female players in the country more than a decade ago, alongside fellow teenagers Shenelle Mohammed, Carlista Mohammed, Lee-Anne Lingo and Tobagonian Raye Ann Sandy.

Otis and Candace Grazette also competed for years but were not nearly as successful as their other four siblings.

Winston not only coached his children and grandchildren, he worked with many students at the “old Public Courts” (Princes Building, Port of Spain), for many years from the 1990s.

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