Celebrating the Life of Joyce McLean's Champion Baby


Lloyd Ivor Barrington  McLean

 I went to Jamaica on September 6th to show my love and pay my respects to a lifelong friend and brother, Lloyd Mclean, who died one day short of his seventieth birthday on August 25th, 2017. I went with a sad disposition but left feeling inspired and hopeful. Hurricane Irma, roaring just north of us and dropping bucket loads of water periodically on the festivities, felt like tears from god as we got together to remember the life of Joyce McLean's champion boy who lived a joyful success and painful illness. As I traveled to Kingston for the memorial services with Lloyd's brother Ronald, his two nephews, Alvin and Karim, his daughter Tanya and his beautiful 7-year-old granddaughter, Brianna, I was not sure what to expect from the occasion. Would we lament Lloyd's recent illness or revel in the shadow of Lloyd's greatness one last time?

When Lloyd's sister Nancy and his daughter, Janet, greeted us at the Norman Manley International Airport, it was clear that we were about to participate in a special send-off for Lloyd. Our first stop was to visit Joyce, Lloyd's 90th-year-old mother, who was full of smiles as three generations of the McLean family gathered around in her bedroom to show her their love. She laughed and made cute comments as she received kisses from her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchild. It was the first of many memorable moments we would share during this weekend celebration.

Lloyd's daughter Janet carrying his ashes

The Mclean family cremated Lloyd on Friday morning, and on Friday night, Nancy held a party that I know Lloyd would wholeheartedly enjoy. It was an old-school Jamaican party with curry goat, stew chicken, red stripe beer, an assortment of liquors, music, and dominoes. The Reggae music was rocking on full blast. The entire neighborhood could hear the rhythms just like the way Coxsone Sound Systems did when Lloyd and I went to listen to music down Fleet Street in the Fifties. The chatter around the dominoes tables was a constant reminder of my early days at Mr. Headley's bicycle shop, where Fudge sellers would come to enjoy a good game after work. Not even the passing showers from the hurricane could diminish the feelings of love for Lloyd. People from different parts of Lloyd's life, the neighbors and his children, mingled and reminisced about the difference Lloyd was to them. It was great to see footballers like Jumpy Harris, Neville Oxford, and Skill Cole come to share this special moment with their fallen teammates.

Lloyd's brother Ronald delivered the eulogy at the Kingston College Chapel

For those who did not know Lloyd, here is a summary of who he was in the words of his brother Ronald:

Lloyd was the oldest of Joyce and Clovis Mclean's four children: Lloyd, Ronald, Nancy, and Alvin. Lloyd was a "Champion Baby," a title he won at a baby show. Joyce kept a picture of Lloyd in her arms with the word CHAMPION written on a banner across his chest. Please make no mistake about it; Lloyd was a hero during his young life. Lloyd was the best at almost everything he did. Lloyd made the best slingshots, shot the most birds, made kites that soared the highest, and caught the most fish. Lloyd was also a leader. If someone could not make a slingshot, Lloyd would show them how. He would always try to improve the people around him, never putting them down. Lloyd was also a hard worker. He lived by the words "Honest Labor Bears A Lovely Face" This motto, from his Vaz Preparatory School experience, really influenced Lloyd. He would refer to these words at different times in his life.


Lloyd also took his secondary school, Kingston College, by storm. He excelled in almost every aspect of his high school life. Lloyd sang in the choir and was a table tennis team member. He marched in Cadet Corp, ran on the track team, was the wicketkeeper on the second eleven cricket team, and was the coveted number 10 on KC's star-studded Manning Cup, Oliver Shield, and Walker Cup Championship teams.

Without a doubt, Lloyd felt most comfortable on the football field. In 1964, under coach George Thompson, Lloyd was the lynchpin in the #10 position. Many members of these championships went on to have storied careers playing for colleges and universities all over the US, professional teams abroad, and the Jamaica national team. Lloyd played the way he lived his life, unselfishly, always looking for the open man, spreading the ball around, spreading love and inclusion.

Lloyd was named MVP for the '65 team. Throughout all this, Lloyd remained grounded and humble. At 17, he was called up by the Jamaica coach Brazilian Jorge Pena to the Jamaica squad leading up to the 1966 World Cup. Lloyd became the linkman for the Jamaica World Cup team at 18 years old. From some historical perspective, Jamaica had never actually entered the World Cup before. Jamaica beat Cuba and The Netherland Antilles to enter the 2nd round. He was needing to win the next match against Mexico and Costa Rica to go to the World Cup finals. The team played well, succumbing to Mexico 3:2 in a tight game at the National Stadium. Our home game against Costa Rica ended in a 1:1 draw. Jamaica played well at home, but the away games resulted in significant losses, losing Mexico to the high-altitude Azteca stadium.

Alvin Mclean, the youngest of the McLean boys

Lloyd played professionally for The Boston Beacons of the newly formed North American Soccer League. While in Boston, Brazil's great Santos was on a US tour playing different teams in the league. The great Pele and Brazil's world-famous goalie Gilmar were on the team. Lloyd didn't start the game because of politics and possibly racial preferences by the coach, but the knowledgeable fans began to chant, "we want Lloyd, we want Lloyd," forcing the coach to put Lloyd in the game. As soon as he entered the game, Lloyd made an impact. Lloyd got the ball, beat two players, and got in front of Gilmar, stepping over it with his left foot, causing Gilmar to move to his right, and Lloyd just pushed it to the other side into the back of the net. The crowd went wild; it was 1:0. Pele came to Lloyd and asked him his name and where he was from, congratulating him on his creative goal. Lloyd left Boston shortly after and pursued a BA degree in business management at LIU.

When Lloyd was entering Long Island University, the rules were such that if you played soccer professionally, you could not play for a College team. So Lloyd was not able to play for LIU. This realization set the stage for Lloyd to achieve his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management in 1975. Getting his degree was one of Lloyd's most significant accomplishments because he did this while working to care for his growing family and paying school fees.

Lloyd married Georgia Hamilton before leaving Jamaica for Boston. They had their first child, the beautiful Janet. They had four additional children: Ronald, Tanya, Patrick, and Michael. He became mentally ill around 1975, just about when he returned to Jamaica. With the mental illness came all the ramifications of mental illness: the stigma, the whispers, the struggles, and the suffering both by Lloyd and the people who loved him. Lloydie struggled and suffered from mental illness for more than 40 years.

Clovis McLean taught his children about love. Clovis said that it was easy to love someone when everything was fine and looking good. But you'll know who loves you when you're down and out and not doing or saying the right things, when you don't look so good, or maybe don't even smell so good. When Lloyd was in his most unlovable state, and when most people wanted to run away from him, his sister Nancy McLean would always run to him no matter his condition. Nancy is a symbol of her father's principle of love. She loved Lloyd with every cell in her body until his last breath.   


90-year-old Joyce and her daughter Nancy at the Memorial Service.

I left Jamaica inspired by Nancy's commitment to her brother. Her love was evident in every aspect of the memorial service, which carried her stamp of impeccable quality and flawless execution. Even Irma's thunderous rain showers could not diminish the outpouring of love for Lloyd at the Kingston College Chapel. I was also moved by how the Kingston College family came together to honor one of their own. KC Old Boys sang and gave tribute to Lloyd in spectacular fashion. Neville Oxford and Dennis Johnson from KC's 1965 Championship team paid homage to their fallen teammate. And I felt hopeful about my own life because I saw once again the delicate roots from which I came. The world-class Kingston College choir that serenaded us was part of my rich heritage. The sight of the KC Old Boys mingling between the raindrops was a constant reminder of our school motto, "The Brave May Fall But Never Yield." This slogan meant to me that no matter what our status was in life, we would overcome because the "Fortis" culture had molded us and given us role models like Douglas Forrest, Issac Henry, and Althea Young to point the way forward.


Lloyd's daughter Tanya and his granddaughter, Ashley, read a lesson at the Memorial Service.


10.07.2020 18:34

Anthony Duhaney

I am late to this tribute, Lloyd as we would say “came from good stock” as his Dad Clovis and two uncles Bunny and Alvin played for Jamaica. Fortis [Started ‘62]

27.08.2020 22:42

Baron Stewart

Thank you for the tribute, Anthony. It was Lloyd's birthday yesterday and so your tribute was very timely.

13.01.2020 13:17

Baron A Stewart

Very well said Patrick. Lloyd was a special human being. However, if you knew the McLean family, you would understand why he was so special. Have you met Ronald, Nancy or Alvin?

23.10.2017 01:51

Errol Golding

I'm Errol Golding, I never knew Lloyd personally but I watched him play manning cup football with great delight Lloyd was a very creative player which everybody loved to see play he will be missed.

01.01.2020 21:22

Patrick B Payne

Even without the benefit of video Lloyd's biography as presented by his brother, Ronnie should be required reading for every current and future student athlete. Jamaica need a few more Lloyd McLean's.

23.10.2017 11:05

Baron A Stewart

Yes, Errol. Lloyd was not only a great player but he wonderful human being. He was my big brother even though he was 20 days younger than me.

Love, Baron.

23.10.2017 01:36

Errol Golding

20.10.2017 17:37

Errol Maye

I am a Kingston College Fortis man and knew Lloyd McClean very well although I was a young student at Kingston College when our famous team of 1965 with Lloyd.Well written article.

20.10.2017 18:06

Baron Stewart

Thank you, Errol. Lloyd was a champion among champions on the 1964 and 1965 teams. He is missed.

03.10.2017 12:46

Brian "MeSeh" Morrison

Great article Baron. Never knew Lloydy personally but his talents were always a big talking point at school - who was better, Lloydy or Skill? RIP bro' Lloyd. One love Dr. McLean!

03.10.2017 12:51

Baron A Stewart

Thank you for your kind comments, Brian. I know that the McLean family will appreciate them.

03.10.2017 12:34

Brian "MeSeh" Morrison

Folks who never had the good fortune of being a KC student are always in awe when we speak of our beloved KC. Bishop Gibson, et al, have blessed us with their love for humanity. Fortis4Life!

03.10.2017 12:50

Baron A Stewart

Yes, Brian. There were some wonderful teachers at KC. Douglas Forrest and Althea Young are two of my favorites.

03.10.2017 01:29

Horace Minott

Lindall , my brother nuff love and respect.Its been many moons. Fortis.

03.10.2017 02:26

Baron A Stewart

Welcome Horace,
What year did you leave KC?

02.10.2017 14:32

Fitzroy Wood

Thank you for this article Lyndall.
I've been living in Toronto for almost 40 years, and through scribes like yourself I'm able to keep up with news of "De College" and past students. Thank you.

02.10.2017 21:46

Baron A Stewart

Thank you for your comment Fitzroy. 40 years in Toronto is a long time. Do you return to Jamaica frequently?

02.10.2017 00:46

Lyndall Rhoden

Good day, it seems like my response went elsewhere. I live in Los Angeles presently.

02.10.2017 01:13

Baron A Stewart

Thank you Lyndall, I lived in Whitter for 25 years. Where in Los Angeles do you live?

01.10.2017 23:43

Lawrence Prendergast

Interesting and informative read. I would love to speak with about this article.

02.10.2017 01:11

Baron A Stewart

Hello Lawrence,
I would love to talk to you too. Please contact me via email. My email address is baronastewart@gmail.com.

30.09.2017 03:03

Patricia Talbot

Thank you for sharing could not attend due to Irma condolences to the McLean family Lloydie a diamond in the rough gone but not forgotten R I P my bro R I P

30.09.2017 06:08

Baron A Stewart

Thank you Patricia,
Lloyd was a diamond to all the people who knew him.

30.09.2017 02:55

Reginald Crutchley

Lloyd and the smile. I could'nt be at his funeral in oerson but Iwas there in SPIRIT.We played cricket and table tennis together and he was always a good team player. All blessings and love to those p

30.09.2017 06:06

Baron A Stewart

Thank you Reginald,
Lloyd had a wonderful memorial. You would have enjoyed it despite the rain.

29.09.2017 06:03

Lyndall Rhoden

Memba Lloydie, Ronnie and Alvin from school days. My condolence to the McLean family. Lloydie was our inside left for the Purple n White. Much Respect.

29.09.2017 07:40

Baron Stewart

Thank you Lyndall, The Mclean family appreciates your words. Where are you living these days?

29.09.2017 02:57

Jeff Hoyes

True "General" on the field, as well as a warm and caring person off the field. Great family...Bless-Up Lloydie Mac.

29.09.2017 03:08

baron A. Stewart

Thank you Jeff. Yes. Lloyd was a general. He would have been happy to know that people felt so warmly about him.

29.09.2017 01:17

Lana Harris

Thanks for sharing. Perfect love Lloydie Mac! Fortis Forever

29.09.2017 03:05

Baron Stewart

Thank you, Lana. Did you have any family who went to KC?

29.09.2017 00:55

Derk Wellington

Fortis 4eva......Droops KC '69

29.09.2017 03:04

Baron Stewart

Thank you, Derk. Did you graduate in 1969?
I graduated in 1966.

28.09.2017 19:12

Jasper Scott

A rather fitting tribute to a talented young man with whom I enjoyed playing the beautiful game. He is now free from the ailments that plagued his life in the later years.

28.09.2017 21:38

Baron A Stewart

Thank you Jasper. Do you have any stories about playing football with Lloyd?

28.09.2017 15:21


What a beautiful story. In so many ways your friend Lloyd epitomizes all aspects of love. How blessed he was and you were to experience all the ups and downs of life w him

28.09.2017 15:33

Baron A Stewart

You are correct, Harriette, Lloyd lived a complex life of success and failure. However, he was Lloyd through all of it.

28.09.2017 00:13

Errol Emden

I've been honored to have as classmates and friends three the greatest sports personalities in my 7 years at KC. The memories and the pride of Lloydie's accomplishments will be shared by generations.

28.09.2017 01:54

Baron A Stewart

Thank you Errol,
I share your sentiment. I know the McLean family appreciates your kind words.

27.09.2017 23:40

Hugh Vaughan

Lloydie's suffering is over. He goes with our love and memories of his abundant talent.

27.09.2017 23:43

Baron A Stewart

Yes Hugh. Lloyd was talented. Do you have any stories about your experiences with Lloyd?

27.09.2017 14:28

Jack Hinds

Condolences to family and friends Lloydie left a great mark on my life we played against and with each other , he made the game easy The best lineman I have seen . He was my friend good friend God Ble

27.09.2017 16:45

Baron A Stewart

Thanks Jack,
I know his family appreciates your words.

27.09.2017 13:54

Kimberly McLean

Thank you for such kind words about my uncle. Love.

27.09.2017 16:44

Baron A Stewart

You are welcomed Kimberly. You uncle was very dear to me.

27.09.2017 12:18


Baron, you have shown your love and honored his life and passion. Great job

27.09.2017 16:43

Baron A Stewart

Thanks Fred. I appreciate your comment.

27.09.2017 08:04

Barry Pitter

Delta ONE. forever.

27.09.2017 08:08

Baron A Stewart

It is great to hear from you, Barry. I always remember our days in the cadet band. You were a great leader.