Charles reaches 102 and counting
October 30, 2012
Charles reaches 102 and counting

Veteran defender Wesley “Butu’ Charles has notched up 102 caps representing St Vincent and the Grenadines in football.{{more}}

Charles, 36, played his 100th match on October 21, when SVG faced Guyana at the Beausejour Cricket Stadium in St Lucia, in Group 2 of the Caribbean Football Union Cup.

He then later added two more to his tally, when SVG faced St Lucia last Tuesday and Curacao on Thursday.

But while Charles has been able to account for the number of international matches he has played, successive executives of the national football body have failed to have a database to record players’ international caps and other pertinent information.

Charles told SEARCHLIGHT on Friday at the E.T. Joshua Airport of his delight at achieving such a landmark.

“It is a good feeling … It is good to serve your country,” he said.

Charles led the team to second place behind Guyana and a berth to the second round of the competition, which takes place in Trinidad and Tobago next month.

In recounting the St Lucia experience, Charles said: “I think we did very well and I am really proud of the coaching staff and my teammates.”

SVG defeated Guyana and Curacao, but lost to St Lucia.

For Charles it was a lesson learnt.

“St Lucia taught us a lesson not to take anybody for granted … Everybody knows now that you can’t take any team as a weak team and every team we play, play them as it is the first or the last game we are playing,” Charles said.

Charles began representing SVG in 1996, but has spent most of his 14 years as a professional fottballer in Ireland.

Charles has represented Sligo Rovers, Bray Wanderers, Galway United and Salthill Devon in Irish football between 1998 and 2011.

In between he spent one season in Russia with Rostov and one season each with the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Montreal Impact in the United Soccer League of North America.

Charles’ first taste of professional football was a brief sojourn in Trinidad and Tobago in that country’s semi-professional league.

One of the highlights of Charles’ durable national representation was when he teamed up with Ezra Hendrickson, Cornelius Huggins and Burton Forde in 2004 in the CONCACAF zone of the World Cup qualifiers, to provide SVG with one of the best back four in recent football history. (RT)