Bob Marley associate and close confidant Alan “Skill” Cole is working on a book about his friendship with the reggae superstar due to be published in August 2012.
According to record man Danny Sims, Cole’s book is an “accurate recollection of Marley’s rise to superstardom to his death from cancer at age 36 in 1981.”
“We’ve been working on this book for eight years and it is the true story of Bob Marley; his love affairs, his life, his children,” Sims tells the Jamaica Observer.
“All the books published about him are crazy, a lot of myths and lies,” says Cole, who was with Marley on that ill-fated jog through Central Park, NYC when Marley collapsed in September 1981. Cole promises that his book will be a true-telling of many of the embellished stories about Marley and his exploits.
Cole was at the peak of his playing career in the mid-1970s when he doubled as Marley’s road manager. He is credited as writer of War, from the singer’s 1976 Rastaman Vibration album.
“Skill” Cole, whose nick-name refers to his skills on the football field, is a Jamaican folk hero whose football feats are nothing if not legendary. Cole grew up in central Kingston in the working-class neighborhood of Woodford Park. In 1962, Cole went to Kingston College, then a powerhouse in schoolboy football, before moving on to Campion College in 1964. He then entered Vere Technical in 1965 where he made his schoolboy debut and an immediate impact in Jamaica’s DaCosta Cup competition. In the storied tournament, Cole scores 38 goals and becoming the leading goal scorer.
He then went on to play for the national team with short professional stints in the United States with the Atlanta Chiefs in the late 1960s and then with Brazilian club Nautica in the early 1970s.
Most recently, he was in the news for a 2007 conviction for ganja possession by Resident Magistrate Desiree Alleyne in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court. According to court records, police seized 60 parcels of ganja weighing approximately 148.45 kilograms or 326.59 pounds. It was reported then that the ganja had a street value of $46 million.
For a more in-depth look at Cole’s prodigious football career see http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20101009/sports/sports8.html