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Mourners turn out for grassroots cricket hero

THE WAY HE WAS: Sted Wallen back in 2013 (image credit: 'Birmingham Post')

HUNDREDS OF mourners descended on Birmingham’s New Testament Church of God in Lozells to pay their respects to the late Sted Wallen on October 6. Grassroots cricket ambassador Wallen, who died on August 26, was a son of Jamaica and tributes poured in at the well-attended church service.

He was a man of the people and used cricket and sport as a way to uplift his community. One of his legacies will forever be the hugely popular annual Birmingham Sports and Cultural Day which is held in Handsworth Park.

Among those to pay tribute to Wallen were members of his family, friends and associates including Carl Rice, deputy Lord Mayor of Birmingham and Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, the Jamaican Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment & Sport, during a memorable and fitting service conducted by Bishop Derek Webley. Grange said in her tribute:

“As you grieve, know this: your son and brother had the respect and affection of a host of sport and cricket enthusiasts the world over.

“God places on some persons the burden of an entire generation. Those to whom this distinction is given are equipped by Him with the necessary talents and abilities, attitudes and passion to carry out that divine mission.

“He will be missed now that he has played his final innings and returned to the pavilion where the principal umpire, God, and his angels applaud him for having distinguished himself both on and off the field.”

Sted’s brother Terence read the eulogy and said:

“Sted was a man among men. His legacy will continue to be a benchmark for men of meaning.”

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