14 February 2002 (www.TEAMtalk.com
Trinidad & Tobago youth international Nkosi Blackman is hospitalised in Port of Spain after fracturing his skull in a car accident on Sunday.
Blackman, who had just returned from England where he was on trial with Manchester United and Middlesbrough, was unconscious in the Intensive Care Unit at San Fernando General Hospital in southern Trinidad after Sunday's crash, which also claimed the life of football player Lester Salick. Blackman was under heavy sedation for injuries which included a fractured skull and brain swelling.
Nkosi, who plays his club football for Joe Public, is one of the top prospects in Trinidadian football after his stand-out performance in the Under-17 World Cup. He was visited in the hospital by club owner and FIFA Vice-President Jack Warner on Wednesday.
Warner says he will pick up all the medical expenses for Blackman, including obtaining a CT scan that is available only in a few hospitals in Trinidad.
"If young sportsmen can see what Nkosi is going through, they will be more careful in the future," Warner told the Trinidad Guardian.
"The world does not end tomorrow, and sportsmen cannot have the same liberty as others, because their lifestyle depends on it. Life is important and footballers must be role models for others."
The accident occurred on Sunday as Blackman and his friends were returning from the annual Carnival parties that flourish on the Caribbean island. Nkosi's brother Nigel was at the wheel of the car that slammed into a electricity pole and also injured two more people.
Local police are investigating whether or not Nigel Blackman, 29, was at fault for the crash.
"We have been told that he is improving but still critical and our prayers and thoughts can only remain with him. We cannot say what would be the next step until we hear more about his condition," said T&T Federation president Oliver Camps, who visited Blackman along with national team coach Rene Simoes.