He was just about seven years old when he started to sell roasted peanuts at Grove Park, now the ET Willett Park.
“I am an OPR-Original Park Rat”, said Malcolm George Ramsey, with his characteristic laugh.
It was Tuesday 16th August and the FIFA Referee Assessor/Instructor was being interviewed by Curtis Morton of NTV Sports.
Ramsey spoke of his love for sports and his achievements over the years. These included representing the Nevis Cricket team as an accomplished wicket keeper/batsman and being a regular feature in goal for the Bath Village team.
Quizzed about his not representing Nevis as a goalie, his quick response was: ‘I was not good enough!’
He also spoke with pride about his years as a Football coach, even achieving the status as the Nevis team Football coach for some time.
However, his greatest achievement yet, is his current status as FIFA Referee Assessor/Instructor.
It all started in 2011 when he was invited to participate in a FIFA sponsored training course in Grenada. Having successfully completed the course, he immediately had visions of helping other Nevisians to get interested in officiating at different levels of the game of Football.
That’s when he discovered Kimbel Ward and Mario parry. He indicated that once they demonstrated the interest, it was easy to follow through thereafter, as both were actively involved in the game, were fairly fit and with the assistance of Masefield Nisbett, were soon able to achieve the required fitness levels.
Ramsey started his Instructors course in 2011 and has been conducting such classes on a weekly basis up until the present time.
His responsibilities include instructing all of the referees and Assessors within the federation of St. Kitts and Nevis and as an Assessor, he is required to assess FIFA international referees, give them written and video feedback and also send regular reports to his FIFA bosses.
Mario has progressed to the status of FIFA Asst. Referee and Kimbell has moved on to being an established FIFA Referee, actually being in charge of a FIFA world cup qualifier earlier this year, before over 54,000 individuals.
Ramsey also pointed out that when it comes to FIFA monitored Football games, St. Kitts and Nevis is represented as one country and noted that there are some other distinguished officials in St. Kitts as well who have achieved FIFA status:
Ramie Browne; Ike Inniss and Tristley Bassue.
Ramsey is encouraging youngsters who are interested in being a part of his class, as they will be well prepared by the time they achieve the age of eligibility to become a FIFA assistant Referee, which is age 23.
He noted that there are some youngsters in training now, who will be ready to take up the mantle when the older guys retire.
In delivering some meaningful words of encouragement to youths who may be presently misguided, Ramsey indicated that he will not ‘write off’ anybody, because in his youthful days, he was a bit of a problem child and would have been arrested and beaten by the Police and constantly at his Headmaster’s punishment line.
‘If I can change, anybody else can change,’ he opined.
Ramsey used the opportunity to encourage the youths to put God first; set goals and work hard to achieve them.
He was also quick to point out that there are many fringe benefits involved in the officiating of FIFA Football games. These include: travelling the world; staying at five star hotels; getting a stipend and simply enjoying your sport of choice.