Great players: Corcel Blair

Corcel Blair was a Jamaican international player who starred for Toronto Croatia in the National Soccer League. He won two league championships with Toronto Croatia.

Corcel was born in Kingston, Jamaica, on September 26, 1950. He attended Vere Technical High School from 1966 to 1969. He was an important member of the school’s soccer team that won the 1967 daCosta Cup, symbolic of the national school championship.

While a member of the Santos Football Club he got his first call up to the Jamaican national team against Haiti in 1968. He would go on to represent the national team for many years, having three brothers who also played for the national team.

In 1971 Corcel joined Sudbury City of the National Soccer League. He helped the team to a strong fifth-place finish in the league championship. During the winter of 1971-1972 he played for the Jamaican national team in their qualifying games for the 1972 Olympic Games.

Corcel joined Toronto Croatia in 1972. In his first season with Croatia they won the NSL league championship. During the regular season they did not lose any league games, however, they were beaten by Toronto Italia in the playoff final. Corcel was among the team’s leading goalscorers.

A return to Toronto Croatia followed for the 1973 season. The team again won the league championship, finishing three points ahead of bitter rivals the Serbian White Eagles. They lost the playoff final to Toronto Hungaria.

During the “winters” Corcel played for Santos Football Club in Jamaica. He helped Santos to four straight league championships from 1974 to 1977.

When Toronto Croatia merged with Toronto Metros of the North American Soccer League in 1975, Corcel was one of many former Croatia players to join the Toronto Metros-Croatia. He started the first three league games of the 1975 NASL season, then came a spell as a substitute. On June 9 he failed to appear for a home game against Baltimore Comets. Despite claiming to have been in a car accident he was fined $200 by the club. He made only one more appearance for the team. In total he played in eight league games for Metros-Croatia.

In 1977 Corcel returned to Sudbury to play for Sudbury Cyclones in the National Soccer League second division.

In the 1980’s he was the coach of Magic Athletic Club in the Toronto & District League.

Later in life he fell on hard times. He died after long illness on August 21, 2008, in Kingston, Jamaica. He was 57 years old.

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