Fatherhood, they say, is full of ups and downs; it’s rarely a smooth ride. That is why out of the 365 days that make up a year, one day is set aside just to celebrate fathers worldwide.
This year’s Father’s Day falls on Sunday, June 20. Thus, on Friday, the TV3 Newday show focused on fathers.
Kingston hanged his boots six years ago, but his love for the game has seen him venture into coaching, in which he seems to be on the right path as he currently works at the famous Right to Dream Academy.
Kingston is passionate about football and will not mind dedicating his whole time to it, but he doesn’t, simply because he loves spending time with his children.
Kingston, whose football career spanned 24 years, is enjoying fatherhood. The 40-year-old has four children, with one taking after him.
“I am from a football family,” Kingston said. “My dad played football, my brother Richard Kingson and we have other siblings who are very good at football. So when I started giving birth, in my mind, I was very positive that at least one of them will step into my shoes and make sure that the legacy will not fade away.”
All of his children have foreign names, unsurprisingly because he spent the majority of his playing career abroad, where he played in Israel, Russia, Scotland, Netherlands and USA.
He named his firstborn Jacob, followed by Gerald, then there is Beyonce before the last born, Scott.
He welcomed Jacob when he was only 17 and two years later, Gerald was born. The former number 7 recalls having them around him even when football was demanding a lot from him.
“I am very, very proud [seeing these children grow up]. The most important thing is the effort and everything you have to put in. I made sure my kids were close to me when they were growing up,” he told host Thierry Nyann.
“During my football career, I moved from country to country with them. That was the only way I could focus more as I wanted to be in their lives and see them growing up.
“I don’t like the idea of leaving your children in the care of people. When you leave your child in the hands of different people, everyone has a style of bringing up a child, so my wife and I ensured we were always close to the kids. Also, I put them in an environment that allowed them to pick up positive traits from other kids.”
Asked whether he has felt the pressure of having to be a model father, he replied: “Yes, especially when the kids start to grow and understand things, as far as, you are a father, you are always going to be a role model for them and it keeps you on your toes.”
“You don’t want to do something that will cause your child to be ridiculed. That alone puts me on track. I always behave myself,” he added.
Laryea came into the studio alone, thinking it was going to be a one-on-one interview. Little did he know that his son, Jacob was on standby, patiently waiting to be signalled to join his father.
The look of surprise on Laryea’s face was palpable when Jacob entered and sat between him and Thierry.
Thierry switched focus to Jacob, asking the young footballer about his father. Jacob smiled throughout the session to back his claims of having a wonderful father.
“I am very proud to be his son,” Jacob said with a grin.
“It has been marvellous. Everywhere he goes, he takes us. I have been to his games, he has always been to my games when I was a kid. We are always together, like best friends.
“The only time he gets mad is on the field because he doesn’t like losing so if I am messing around, he doesn’t take it lightly.”
Laryea added: “The moment we leave the football pitch, that is when the father and son relationship start but, when we are playing football, I treat him like the others. I make sure I put a lot of pressure on him, I demand a lot of effort from him as well.
“One thing you should know is every parent’s joy is to see his child being successful. I have been there for him, always. When he decided to play football and when I started coaching, I decided to be patient with him but when it’s necessary to push him, I do.”
At 23, Jacob, who in March signed a professional contract with Great Olympics, should be thinking of a Father’s Day gift for Laryea.