IF STVINCENT AND the Grenadines has produced five good footballers, then the late Rudy Boucher has to be among the lot.
That is the view of former St Vincent and the Grenadines senior team captain and head coach – Elliot “Morie” Millington.
Boucher, a midfielder of immense football ability, died in NewYork on Tuesday, September 13. He was 76.
According to Millington, “Rudy is one of the topclass players that has come out of St Vincent and the Grenadines… He could have trapped the ball with any part of his body…. He was an expert in bringing down the ball from his instep… He was really, really good”.
Millington also referred to Boucher, as one who had “individual skills, a good reader of the game, a visionary”.
Millington recalled playing alongside him in 1976 in Grenada, and in 1977 in Barbados. Boucher was the national team’s captain from 1972 to 1976, before transitioning to become the national senior coach in 1977. He held that post until 1980, when he migrated to the United States.
As the St Vincent and the Grenadines senior team coach from 1977 to 1980, Boucher was responsible for moulding the much revered 1979 team, that placed second to Haiti in the Caribbean Football Union final held in Suriname.
Incidentally, Millington was the captain of that team.
Millington, who resides in the US as well, noted that he and Boucher’s camaraderie and personal friendship blossomed over the years.
“Every 4th of July holiday, some other friends and I would go to Boucher’s house… eat, have a few drinks and of course reminisce about our football days and other things we did together while we were back home in St Vincent and the Grenadines,” Millington revealed.
Millington was glad that they were able to spend what turned out to be the last of the gatherings, just over two months ago.
Joining Millington in extolling the abilities of Boucher was Guy Lowe, who assessed him as “a compact player”.
Lowe told SEARCHLIGHT that he had always been an admirer of Boucher, and when he got the opportunity to be Boucher’s teammate on the national team in 1970, one of his dreams was realised.
“Rudy was a very, very good player, and I dare say extraordinary and one who has contributed to the development of St Vincent and the Grenadines”, Lowe added.
Lowe also counted another achievement, when Boucher moved to his team – Roseans, in the latter part of his local football career, and they once again were teammates.
Meanwhile, Ken John, former Notre Dame player, but who did not play with nor against Boucher, however, held him as his “idol” John disclosed that one piece of advice from Boucher has stuck with him to this day.
“ We (Notre Dame) played a game against Roseans, which we won 2-1, and I had the two assists; Rudy came to the dressing room and commended me but also advised me to stop passing the ball in the air…. That night I couldn’t sleep, just thinking what he said to me,” John recollected.
Boucher was born and raised in the Hospital Road area, to Beryl and Rudolph Boucher.
He grew up a stone’s throw away from the Victoria Park, then the mecca of football in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Boucher joined the famed Notre Dame Club in 1963. It was with Notre Dame that Boucher made his name, as he teamed up with the likes of Norbert Hall, Dougie Cambridge, Jeff Bailey, Sam De Bique, Vincent Cupid, Dougie Doyle, among others, to forge what pundits say, was the best football team ever to be assembled here in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
But many who knew Boucher, noted that he was also a good Table Tennis player and was adept at Volleyball as well.