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Rupert “Canalete” Anderson, Belize’s best in his day #507988
10/02/15 04:04 PM
10/02/15 04:04 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 81,178
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
[Linked Image] We promised to give a flashback/tribute last week on two outstanding names in Belize football lore, one for his outstanding performance on the field, and the other for his all-around talent and contribution on and off the field in Belizean football/music/culture. Technical difficulties have handcuffed us (our malfunctioning micro-cassette recorder has rendered much of our taped interviews with these gentlemen obsolete in the digital age; unless we can somehow locate a functioning micro-cassette recorder); but we will begin sharing what we have available this week on Canalete. After Canalete, we will discuss Winty J.

When you talk about football from the late 1960’s through the mid 70’s, one man who stands out as the giant “between the sticks” is without a doubt Rupert “Canalete” Anderson, who was the starting goalkeeper on a number of All-Belize selections in that era.

There are a number of big goalkeeper names that dominated the Belize City football scene at different times over the period of the late 1950’s through the ‘70’s, including Charlie Gardiner, Wilfred “Palmer” Davis, Nelson “the Roo” Robinson, Elston “Bouza” Stoddard (deceased), and then there was Rupert “Canalete” Anderson. After Canalete, other big names come to mind like Karl “Bunu Cal” Robateau, Noel “Flying Fargo” Ferguson (deceased) and Orin “Coco” Orio of the mid to latter1970’s era.

I recall that in 1972, when a dance (Bob Reneau Dance Troupe), music (Lord Rhaburn Combo), football (reinforced Amateur Sporting Club) and volleyball contingent travelled to Agua Dulce, Vera Cruz, Mexico, Rupert “Canalete” Anderson, who held goal for Landivar at the time, was the starting goalkeeper on that team which played to a 2-2 draw with the “Seccion 22” selection. ASC was then sponsored by Mr. Hubert Bradley, but its best performance in the City competition was third place. For this venture, players were selected from other teams, and the reinforced squad was then coached for a couple weeks by Angus Vernon, then player/coach of reigning champions Landivar. I remember that Edward “Thor” Middleton starred on that selection, and anchoring the defence was Landivar sweeper Clarence “Willie” Williams. ASC was a decent team, and a couple of our players were certainly All Belize material, but when players from other teams are drafted for such a trip “a fareign,” it is an honor and a distinction that means you are one of the best. Such was the caliber of Canalete.
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Still an imposing figure of six feet three inches, and not much more than his 190 pounds playing weight when he was boss between the sticks at the MCC, Canalete now moves stealthily, almost feebly, as he is easily short of breath, exhibiting a four-inch scar on his upper right chest near his shoulder, the evidence of major cardiovascular surgery about four years ago. He makes regular trips to Miami for a medical check-up, always returning home to his common-law wife of 21 years, Jackie August, with whom he has six children, at their home on Curassow Street in Belize City. (He also has eleven other children from different unions in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.)
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We chatted with Canalete outside his home on Curassow Street, and gleaned a few insights into his rise to football stardom in Belize.

Rupert “Canalete” Anderson was born in Belize City on December 12, 1946, to Ms. Caserine Bennett and Mr. Mansfield “Tarri” Anderson, both deceased.

Rupert said he spent his early years growing up in Hattieville, and started playing as goalkeeper with a junior team named Rapona Shell. After that, it was straight to senior with the Hattieville team that participated in the Belize City competition. Neither team was outstanding, but the tall youngster in goal for Hattieville apparently caught the eye of scouts in Belize City.

We chatted with Canalete outside his home on Curassow Street, and gleaned a few insights into his rise to football stardom in Belize.

Rupert “Canalete” Anderson was born in Belize City on December 12, 1946, to Ms. Caserine Bennett and Mr. Mansfield “Tarri” Anderson, both deceased.

Rupert said he spent his early years growing up in Hattieville, and started playing as goalkeeper with a junior team named Rapona Shell. After that, it was straight to senior with the Hattieville team that participated in the Belize City competition. Neither team was outstanding, but the tall youngster in goal for Hattieville apparently caught the eye of scouts in Belize City. (to be continued in our next issue)
Part 2

Of course, on reflection, Rupert did not actually “grow up” in Hattieville, which only came into existence following the October 31, 1961, hurricane of that name; but he did grow into young adulthood in Hattieville after his family moved there. His early years were in Belize City; then in Hattieville, after playing as goalkeeper with the junior team, Rapona Shell, he moved up to mind goal with the senior Hattieville team in the Belize City football competition.

After his first senior season with the Hattieville team, the teenaged Rupert Anderson had already caught the eye of established veterans in Belize City, and the following year (around 1965 according to Rupert), he was recruited to play with the famous Brodies team.

As with some of our veteran players, Rupert’s memory is spotty in some areas, and some dates may not be completely accurate. It is for sure that Brodies were champions in the 1962-63 season, as this was verified by Bert Cattouse, who played with them that year, before migrating to the U.S. And Rupert is certain that he did not win any championship until he joined Landivar in the early 1970’s. So, Rupert apparently joined Brodies after their reign was over; perhaps after they lost their number one goalie, Nelson “Roo” Robinson (to BEC or by migration to the U.S.).

In any case, Rupert said, “After Hattieville, I came down to Belize City and started to play with Brodies.” He always played as goalkeeper. On that Brodies team, he recalls that one of his teammates was Cristobal Mayen (who later rose to stardom with Berger 404 in the 1970’s).

His season with Brodies was probably the 1966-67 season. And then, the following season he played with Belize Global, which had some of the same players, including Cristobal and Errol Clarke, who later perished in a 1971 truck accident along with three other athletes.

In that season with Belize Global, Rupert recalled that they played a big game against the then famous Rocking-R from Cayo.

Rupert: We beat Rocking-R that year, because we worked out hard just to win that game.

Amandala: That was a big game, because Rocking-R was the team to beat around that time.

R: Right. They had Orvin Garcia in goal, and he was a good goalkeeper too.

A: Are you sure it wasn’t one of the Wagner brothers, Tony or George in goal?

R: No, it was Orvin Garcia; the Wagner brothers came later on. They also had Pilis (Neal), Pappy (Smith), Speedy (Henry), Tio (Lennan), Culebra (Neal), Nayo (Waight), Maya (Ortega), (Arturo) Azueta, Timmy Bedran. They had a very good team. But we won in a close game.

Despite the impressive victory against Rocking-R, Belize Global “did not come anywhere in the 1967-68 season,” recalled Rupert.

The next season, which would be 1968-69, Rupert said he “went over” to J & E with Hubert Bradley as sponsor. Some of his teammates on J & E included Kizzy (Eric Kisling, deceased), Mundo (Myvette) and Cherry (Eugene Cherrington).

Again, there was no championship for J & E (San Joaquin was likely dominating at that time), but those were learning years for the developing goalkeeper, whose next season, 1969-70, found him with the young Spurs team.

A: So, J&E in ’68, and Spurs in ’69?

C: ’69, Right.

A: How many seasons you played with Spurs?

C: Two seasons; but we didn’t win any season.

After Spurs, Canalete found himself being recruited by Landivar, and that was his first taste of football championship.

Looking back, it could be said that, with his impressive performance on Spurs, Canalete had established himself as the most sought after goalkeeper in the Belize City First Division, thus his being snapped up by the then powerful Landivar squad. With Landivar, Canalete racked up back-to-back city championships (1972-73 and 1973-74), until the advent of that legendary team from the Lake, Berger 404, who captured back-to-back titles in 1974-75 and 1975-76.

By that time, the Landivar star was losing its shine, as veteran stars retired or migrated to the U.S., and the new stars, among them Raymond Davis, Alllison Jenkins and Alger “Blacker” Bradley, were unable to re-capture the city crown for Landivar. Nevertheless, there was no question who was the boss between the sticks, as Rupert “Canalete Anderson remained the #1 goalkeeper on the All Belize teams in yearly post season friendlies at home and abroad.

Tall and athletic, Rupert commanded the area in front of his goal, and was perhaps the first Belize goalkeeper to be very vocal in directing his defenders. He took charge and, with his reputation as “bouncer” at Dickie Gardiner’s Continental night club (on Freetown Road), it was acknowledged that Rupert “know i hand,” and was not reluctant to engage any aggressive opponent, especially in defence of his teammates.

In our 2013 interview with Spurs’ defender Russell “Cheezy” Hulse, Cheezy recalled an occasion when Independence striker Raymond “Lee Mole” Alvarez had injured Spurs defender Philip Neal (or was that Philip Guild?), and to Rupert’s mind, intentionally. Cheezy recalled the ensuing spectacle on the MCC as Rupert left his goal and chased Lee Mole all across the field to try and exact his revenge for hurting his defender.

Rupert himself recounted a game with the All Belize selection, being coached at the time by Cristobal Mayen in Grand Cayman. According to Canalete, Noel “ Flying Fargo” Ferguson (deceased) was the goalie in first half, when Cayman racked up a 3-nil lead. In second half, ‘Stobal inserted Canalete in goal, and the Belize team rebounded to draw the game, 3-3.

After his championships with Landivar, Canalete then joined Sir Andie’s (Rudolph Anderson) White Label, an awesome selection of stars for the 1976-77 season. And, despite an exciting and talented young Charger team “jumping” White Label, 2-nil, in first half of the championship final, it was Canalete’s leadership and field vision from his goalkeeper position that saw his team upsetting “Flying Fargo’s” Charger, 4-2, for the title. Canalete said he noticed Foggy standing with arms folded way out at his eighteen yard line when Cherry (sweeper Eugene Cherrington), known for his long drives, was about to make a free kick from deep inside the White Label territory. Canalete called Cherry’s attention and advised him to try a long one, which Cherry did, and caught Fargo frantically running backwards, as the ball dropped behind him and into the open goal; 2-1. The shock of the goal turned the tide of the game; and Label went on to a 4-2 victory and the championship. And Canalete was instrumerntal in the victory, not succumbing to despondency although trailing 2-0, and motivating his team to one of the biggest comebacks in a championship match.

Fargo was my keeper and my buddy on Charger, and there was no keeper with a better record at stopping penalties and other impossible shots during his era of the mid to latter seventies. But he had a weakness, and could sometimes be beaten by “easy” balls.

There is no disrespect to any of our other outstanding goalkeepers of the early to late seventies era, and we had some other good ones in the city – Karl “Bunu Cal” Robateau, Ruperto “Frog Man” Alvarez, Nick Dujon, and of course the Flying Fargo. But I humbly submit that in my estimation, Canalete was the boss.

And the next great keeper that he passed the “Top Dog” baton to would have to be one he helped to tutor as an up and coming keeper in Dangriga, before he burst on the scene in the Belize City competition. We’re talking about the great Orin “Coco” Orio, father of present Belize national team goalkeeper, Shane Moody Orio. But that is another story for another time.

Like so many of our star athletes over the years, when there seemed no more worlds to conquer, Canalete took off to the U.S. not long after his White Label championship season. And his journey across major American cities with large Belizean immigrant populations soon resulted in more football championships.


Re: Rupert “Canalete” Anderson, Belize’s best in his day [Re: Marty] #523387
05/05/17 02:19 PM
05/05/17 02:19 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 81,178
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

United Garifuna Association tribute to Rupert Anderson

Wellington Ramos, United Garifuna Association (UGA)

To The Family of Rupert “Canalayte” Anderson, Officers, Members and Friends,

On Saturday 28th April 2017, I received a text that Rupert Anderson, better known as “Canalayte”, died in Florida. This news spoiled my whole Saturday. I knew that he was ailing for years now but did not expect my friend and former teammate with our “Ubafu” 1982 championship team to die so quickly.

This text came in shortly after I got off the phone with another teammate and friend Kenrick Jones, who was on the team with us when we won the championship. Kenrick Jones and Rupert Anderson played together for the Landivar championship team before they both came to live here in New York City. The Ubafu soccer team has now lost two of our legends, namely, Gene Guild and Rupert Anderson.

Currently, the family in Florida is making funeral arrangements for our teammate and friend. Plans are currently being made here in New York City to honor our beloved friend and teammate. The officers, members, friends and supporters of our organization hereby take this opportunity to express our deepest condolences to his family, friends and teammates. He will be sadly missed by all of us.

Our organization would also like to thank the Amandala Press for taking the time out to do an extensive interview with this football legend before he left us all which can be seen below. The time for the players and government of Belize to establish the Belize Football Hall Of Fame is now. Too many of our Belizean football players have and will continue to die, without being acknowledged for their contributions towards this great sport while they are alive.

One of Belize’s Greatest Goalkeepers

March 2017 – by Bilal Morris

Meeting the legendary Belizean football goalkeeper, Rupert Anderson, for the first time in person after seeing him play so many games as the “hard to score on” iron clad defense for first Landivar in the 1960s and early 70s, then Spurs, and later on White Label in the late1970s and early 80s, Belizean Legends embarked on one of the most ambitious productions to date two weeks ago to document the incredible story of one of Belize’s most celebrated athletes of all time. The keen vision of Belizean sports enthusiast and athlete, Evondale “Coby” Coburn, who invited yours truly to Florida to chronicle the life and times of the man they called “Canalayte,”

Rupert Anderson has got to be appreciated here. Being a visionary in many ways, Coby saw the story and pressed me urgently since the long time Belizean goalkeeper has been ailing, and found it very important that Anderson’s classic work as probably Belize’s best goalkeeper of all times be respected and not be forgotten.

Spending some quality time at the home of Anderson’s sister, Glenda Guerrier, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he is excellently cared for, and chatting with him in detail about his vast sports history as a Belizean football player and legendary athlete, “Canalayte” was most inspired himself about the story, and took me through the journey of his sports life while getting his brain power fed by memorable photographs of the golden age of Belizean football that he remembers so well.

Our two days of just discussing Belize’s football era that is not there anymore, prior to the interview, was a necessary prelude to the awesome interview that was to come. It prepared Canalayte well, though he confessed to be in great pain and discomfort as we spoke for hours, and would retire to bed occasionally to rest. He would soon return again shortly to continue the previous conversation.

Anderson’s sense of humor was most expressive, especially when he was joined by his long time best friend and team colleague, Knox Bennett, who also flew in from Los Angeles, California to celebrate with his dear friend and team player. Just sitting there listening to these two men’s conversation about football, entertainment, and life in Belize, thrilled me emotionally, and made me trip off into “memory lane” as to how spirited and full of happiness and joy that period of Belizean football greatness was. These were sensational historical moments that will not again return to Belize, and were described so passionately in Evan X Hyde’s book, “Sports, Sin & Subversion”.

This is just a prelude to one of the most sensational interviews ever done by Belizean Legends about Belize’s football greatness of the 1960s, 70s and 80s. We remember with the deepest respect and appreciation the dynamic work laid down in Belize’s football history by the athlete they called “Canalayte”, one of Belize’s most skillful goalkeepers.

Rupert Anderson is quite a renaissance man in his own right, and won my admiration and respect as he described crucial chapters of Belize’s football history despite his illness as he turned 70 years old. He did it all in Belizean football, and is hailed today as one of Belize’s greatest athletes. Surge on, Canalayte. Live in this life like you are going to live forever. And thanks for talking to Belizean Legends, champ!

May his soul rest in peace and he will be sadly missed by all those people in football, especially those players who had the opportunity to play with him on the same team. He was all about winning and would do any and everything to win his games.

Re: Rupert “Canalete” Anderson, Belize’s best in his day [Re: Marty] #523546
05/13/17 06:18 AM
05/13/17 06:18 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 81,178
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
Amandala: From the Publisher, Evan X Hyde

His family, friends, and the football community in Belize and the United States have been celebrating the life and mourning the death of the championship Belize goalkeeper of the 1970s, Rupert “Canalate” Anderson. Canalate was a special brother, and I will tell you why, at least from my personal perspective.

When my generation was growing up here in the 1950s and 1960s, the highest level of manhood in the streets of Belize City was represented by those brothers who knew how to fight with their fists. In the streets, it would be said of such a man, “Hin know ih hand.” (He knows his hands.) Canalate was one such person. Incidentally, the famous softball coach and manager, G. Raymond Lashley, who has been ailing, also enjoyed such a reputation in the streets.

You could develop a reputation for manhood by being willing to use so-called “edged tools,” but this was not the highest level of manhood: fist fighting was. If, like myself, you could neither fight with your hands or was willing to resort to edged tools, then you had to develop a kind of–”Sicilian” mentality if you wanted to survive.

The thing about Rupert, who was a very tall and athletic guy, was that he absolutely never gave off any kind of bully vibes. He was a completely pleasant and friendly person. He never tried to intimidate anyone. The only time I saw him upset to the point of being angry was when he was told that two of his teammates from the All-Belize team, one of these being the much loved Christobal Mayen, had been “stepped on” outside the Melting Pot disco by two notorious street thugs. Canalete was talking revenge.

My younger brother, Charles, has told me of a football game when Canalate became incensed after one of his teammates on Teddy Gonzales’ Spurs team was bullied by an opposing player, and Canalate chased the offending opponent all across the MCC field. I wasn’t there.

Such was Canalate’s ability and reputation as a fighter that the famous owner of the historic Continental Club, Richard “Dickie” Gardiner, had him employed as a bouncer. Dickie Gardiner himself enjoyed a lofty reputation where fighting ability was concerned.

One of the reasons fist fighting was so revered back then was because you could settle disputes without a significant risk of homicide. In colonial days in British Honduras, up until 1965, say, convictions for murder were the order of the day once anyone was killed, and conviction was always followed, 21 days later, by the gallows. This was the place where my generation grew up. There was law and order. We never contemplated murder because we were scared of hanging.

When William “Hani” Robinson was hanged in 1974, there had not been a hanging for about five years, if I remember correctly. The reason Hani was hanged was because he had killed a young policeman on Swing Bridge who was doing duty for the very first time. Hani was a petty thief, but he was a former footballer with a popular personality. Hani had no reputation for violence. All of us who knew him felt that he must have been on some strange drugs when he stabbed P.C. Antonio Aguilar to death.

After Hani, there was no hanging until the summer of 1981 when the Heads of Agreement uprisings rocked Belize. Those of us who were activists felt that this was a “message” hanging, that the Government of Belize wanted to remind everybody who was giving street trouble because of the Heads, that the gallows “back-a-Baptist” was still operational and still optional. The Thomas case was a kind of mysterious case. A father, one who had recently come to Belize from one of the Caribbean islands, was killed in his home close to the Western Highway around Mile 38 or so, on the right side as you were driving up to Belmopan. The deceased’s daughter was the only substantial prosecution witness. I personally have doubt that the case against Seymour Thomas was air tight. A contractor by the name of Warrior, with whom Thomas was employed at the time, swore to me that the Jamaican could not have been the murderer. No matter, he was hanged.

The next person to be hanged was the last person to be hanged, Noel Bowers in 1985. Again, I have questions about the circumstances of the murder incident, which took place at a classy restaurant near the old Memorial Park. But, it’s too late now to ask questions.

Ten years after Noel Bowers, young Belizean men had begun killing each other in the streets of the old capital with relative impunity. Today, a he-man like Rupert Canalate would have to be afraid of little boys with big guns. Things here have gone completely topsy turvy in the course of my generation’s lifetime.

I want to say to Canalate’s family and friends that in our sports and street circles, he was a great Belizean, a superstar. And the thing about it was that he was humble, and friendly. I have stories I could tell you about challenging conversations we had with each other. The most animated I would say was before a “bet” game between UBAD and Harlem Square. This would have been around 1971 at the old BEC field. Canalete was with Harlem Square, a squad which was organized by the late taxi driver we called “Chunga.” Rupert and I were always with opposing teams, except for one time when I was trying to put Diamond A together before the 1973/74 season. Canalate travelled with us to San Ignacio’s Norman Broaster Stadium to play against Jalil Bedran’s Mighty Avengers. (I think the Amandala editor, Russell Vellos, played in that game for Diamond A. Avengers included Pappy and David Smith, Turo Azueta, Pelis Neal, Mike Martinez, Nayo Waight, Speedy Henry, and so on.) Rupert tended the goal in the first half, but that was enough for him to see that our team was not ready for prime time. So, he moved on. He had already won championships with Landivar, and could not afford to experiment and risk his reputation. I respected that.

Rupert Canalate was a man amongst men. In the football and street community, we held him in great respect. The 1970s were the last golden years of Belize City sports, and those were the years when Canalate walked tall. He was a king amongst men, but he treated us all with kindness and respect. I will remember him.


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