Bob Marley Soccer Gear (And How Soccer Contributed to His Death)

Bob Marley’s brand is stronger now that when he was alive and his estate’s merchandising tentacles spread everywhere from headphones to coffee.  Now clothing is part of the mix.

Marley Apparel, is a new men’s clothing line that draws inspiration from everything Bob with all the designs coming from his eldest daughter, Cedella.  Part of the collection is a series of t-shirts and track jackets inspired by Bob’s love of soccer.

Interestingly, it was Bob’s footie fascination that may have led to his death–or so the urban legend says.  While playing soccer in 1977, Bob is said to have injured his toe.  When it was examined, a type of malignant melanoma was found.  Acral Melanoma is common among darkly pigmented peoples and Asians and occurs on areas of the body where the sun normally doesn’t reach.

The injury wasn’t the cause of the cancer that killed Bob, but it was symptomatic of a much larger and already-existing cancer issue.  By continuing to play soccer, the repeated trauma involved with kicking a ball made the melanoma under his toenail just made it worse.  It–and it was probably a mole on the nail bed–eventually turned malignant and became a sore.  That’s how it was discovered.

Instead of having the toe amputated as doctors urged–it was at the 3-4 stage and such surgery would have probably saved his life–Marley cited his Rasta beliefs, saying that this was not allowed for religious reasons.  The cancer metastasized through out his body and he eventually died of the disease on May 11, 1981.

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