Awed by Rudy Boucher’s immense football skills as he played for Notre Dames and for St Vincent and the Grenadines, Rudolph “Pabits” Davis was inspired to get involved in football.
Overtime, Davis has assessed that the late Boucher was the “best footballer” St Vincent and the Grenadines has ever produced.
“He was the best footballer we ever had,” Davis said about the late Boucher who died September 13, in the United States.
Chronicling his early memories of Boucher, Davis related, “After I saw him play in 1965, I went and played in 1966… That year (1965) for me, was the best year that I have seen St Vincent play”.
Underscoring the prowess of the team then, Davis stated that St Vincent and the Grenadines trumped the Windward Islands tournament in 1965 here at the Victoria Park and repeated that feat in 1966 in Grenada.
Davis pointed out that although Boucher at that time was relatively new to the national team setup, he was very instrumental and impactful in the team’s successes.
Recalling their first conversation, Davis revealed: “He (Boucher) was living at Hospital Road and I was living around the bay, and one day I was going up Hospital Road and he was coming down…. He [had] never spoken to me [before] … I never spoke to him but when we reached close I saw him coming across to me”.
Bewildered by the unexpected approach from Boucher, Davis remembered Boucher giving him a life changing lesson.
“I [was] watching you play football, but you see people they will start to say bad things about you and I don’t want you to worry about them. You just continue to do what you [are] doing…Well I said if Rudy told me that, I don’t have anybody to study… I am just gonna play football”.
Davis said that conversation was the beginning of a life-long friendship, establishing mutual respect, and addressing each other by their respective surnames.
Identifying one of the stand outs of Boucher’s football talents, Davis said he was very good at chest trapping.
“I saw him play some football in St Lucia when Rudy chested that ball, everybody stood up,” Davis recounted of Boucher’s abilities.
Apart from football, Davis said that Boucher was a very good Table Tennis and Volleyball player, skills he honed while attending the Emmanuel High School.
The two subsequently became team mates both at the national and club levels.
Davis, who represented St Vincent and the Grenadines from 1969 to 1975, before migrating to the United States played with Boucher on the national team, as well as club teams – Roseans and Honveds.
The two were to team up on and off the field, as Boucher moved to the US in 1980. There, Davis and Boucher performed roles as coaches with Vincentian teams in the Brooklyn League in New York.
Davis, who has recently moved back to St Vincent and the Grenadines, said that the last conversation he had with Boucher was two weeks prior to his death.