Butu – From Russia with love
August 5, 2005
Butu – From Russia with love

This year former calypso Monarch ‘Princess Monique’ Hector/Weekes rendered a song called ‘SVG is Tops.’ That alluded to the nation’s performance on the world stage.

Princess Monique will perhaps have to make an addition to her list with the progress of footballer Wesley ‘Butu’ Charles. {{more}}

If everything works out in Charles’ favour, he could be on a two-year contract in November with the Russian Premier Division team FC Rostov.

Charles began a six-month loan deal with a Russian Club last June 30 and was expected to make his debut with his new Russian Club shortly after.

Charles played for two Irish Clubs Sligo Rovers and Bray Wanderers before gaining the attention of the Russians.

He told Paul Dowling, a journalist for the Bray People Sport that it was a great opportunity for him. He relished the idea of playing for one of the top Leagues in Europe.

Charles has been a stalwart member of the national football team, dubbed ‘Vincy Heat.’ He along with Cornelius Huggins, Burton Forde, and Ezra Hendrickson completed a solid defence for the Vincy Heat outfit.

One of their crowning moments was when the Vincentians held the powerful Mexican team to a one/nil scoreline at the Arnos Vale Playing in October last year. That was following a seven/nil drubbing in Mexico in the away leg.

He has been enhancing his experience with matches on the World Cup stage. It was unfortunate that he and his teammates missed out on some further opportunities to show their mettle on a wider stage.

Twice last year, the Vincentians were denied the chance to advance. They needed to beat Trinidad and Tobago first to go on to the final round of the Concacaf World Cup qualifiers, and again in the Digicel Caribbean Cup from which three teams progressed to the Gold Cup.

Charles, a towering defender is one of the nation’s most talented players. His overlapping skills have helped his team on many occasions to penetrate the opposing line up, and he has a knack for reading the game, which has kept numerous opponents at bay.

Charles however had mixed feelings about leaving his last Irish Club.

“I am sad to be leaving. The people of Bray have been fantastic. I have had a terrific time and made good friends,” he told Paul Dowling.

Charles attracted the attention of a Rostov representative in Spain last January while on trial with FC Rubin Kazan.

That representative “watched Wesley a few times and liked what he saw,” according to Pat Devlin, Bray Wanderers’ boss.

Devlin pointed out that: “He (Charles) has been great for the Club, and the Club has been great for him. We couldn’t stand in his way when an opportunity like this comes about,” Devlin said.

Charles from the area of Brighton in the east St. George constituency, has not abandoned his homeland even though his exploits on the field of play have taken him to distant shores. He sponsors a team Wesley Charles All Stars, and has become something of a model in local circles.