Leeds local football player shot dead

Renwich Parkinson with infant son Rakeem, taken a few months ago
Renwich Parkinson with infant son Rakeem, taken a few months ago
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A PROMISING young footballer from Leeds has been shot dead in Jamaica.

Renwich ‘Kumar’ Parkinson, 23, was killed in Albion, a community in the Montego Bay area of the island.

Local reports say police were involved in the incident that claimed his life.

Now the ex-Garforth Town player’s family in Leeds are demanding answers from the authorities in Jamaica.

One relative, who asked not to be named for fear of repercussions when he travels to the island for Renwich’s funeral a week today, said: “We are devastated – but we’re also determined not to take this lying down.”

The family’s calls are being backed by Simon Clifford, Renwich’s former football coach and an official ambassador for tourism agency Welcome To Yorkshire.

Mr Clifford, founder of the Leeds-based Brazilian Soccer Schools (BSS) coaching academies, has drafted in his own solicitors, Blacks LLP, to investigate the case.

He told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “Renwich was one of the best young people I have ever worked with.

“He was the last person something like this should have happened to.”

Jamaica-born Renwich moved to Leeds at the age of 10 to be with his family.

One of nine brothers and sisters, he lived in Chapeltown and went to Allerton Grange High School.

Football was his passion, with his electric pace earning him the nickname ‘Jamaican Express’ after he began attending BSS sessions.

He was also a team-mate and teenage pal of Manchester City and England star Micah Richards.

Renwich’s life took a turn for the worse, however, when he stood trial in 2007 on drugs charges.

He was found not guilty at Leeds Crown Court but decided to make a fresh start by moving back to Jamaica around 18 months ago.

One relative who spoke to him in late May this year said Renwich had “never been happier”.

He was playing for Village United, one of Jamaica’s top football teams, and had recently become a father.

However, he is also known to have been involved in a dispute with local youths.

Renwich was killed at his home in the early hours of June 28. His family says he was unarmed at the time of the incident.

An initial post-mortem examination reportedly found he had suffered two gunshot wounds.

A spokesman for the Jamaican police told the YEP that inquiries about the death should be addressed to the island’s Independent Commission of Investigations (Indecom).

It was set up last year to look into what Jamaica’s parliament described as “alleged abuses ... by members of the security forces”.

Indecom failed to respond to a request for information from the YEP.

l A memorial match to raise money for Renwich’s baby son, Rakeem, will take place at Garforth Town on Wednesday, August 3.

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