Errol McKellar is a Harlesden-born man with a mission, and on Saturday, July 21, he will be taking a giant step forward in that mission.
McKellar is the proprietor of Cremer Garage in Hackney, London, a business he has owned for over 20 years. He is a mainstay in the East and North London communities, serving as an official mentor for local youths who find themselves in trouble. He says his Jamaican parents always emphasized the importance of giving back and being someone who people respected. To that end, he has worked to be a role model for the many young people he comes into contact with, as a football coach for over 30 years. Along with running drills and ball control, he provides guidance to the local youngsters, teaching them how to respect themselves and others. Sometimes those youngsters don’t quite get the message and McKellar ends up visiting them in the local police station. There, he doesn’t hand out judgment, instead, working as an advocate and encouraging the troubled youth on getting out of trouble and most importantly, staying out of trouble. He offers them hope but emphasizes that ultimately they are in charge of their own destiny and making the right choices makes all the difference.
This driven man has had a storied life and if pressed, will overcome his modesty to share his experience as a coach to football legends like the young David Beckham, Sol Campbell, Ledley King and Ashley Cole among others. Right now Errol has a new demographic he wants to get a message to urgently. As a 54 year old man in remission from prostate cancer following surgery, he wants other men of his age to know the importance of getting screened for the deadly disease. He makes it a point to tell anyone coming to his business about his experience, noting that younger men who have fathers and other older men in their lives and women, who often have to take the lead in getting the men in their lives to see a doctor, also need to hear this message and spread the word.
This community minded man who has garnered the respect of everyone who knows him, who works tirelessly to support his community, and light a torch for many who might otherwise move in darkness, will be carrying a different torch this Saturday. McKellar was selected to be the Olympic Torch bearer for the London Borough of Hackney, an honor bestowed upon him in recognition of his dedication and determination to help others. And what a fitting honor for this man who through sports and a compassion for his fellow mankind, is lighting a path for many.
McKellar begins his leg of the Olympic torch journey on Saturday, July 21 at 5:29 pm from the junction of Stamford Hill and Northwold Road to Rectory Road, N16. He is looking forward to seeing you all along the way.