Today, on National Pancreatic Cancer Day, Guardian Media Sport honours the life of John E Sabga, an individual who contributed to local sport in ways in which few others that came before him had ever done.
“He was always willing to give, through guidance or actual assistance when he could, and he did it silently, he never did it for the public recognition, he did it for the passion he had to help others,” his son Matthew told Guardian Media Sport.
“As a member of the Queen’s Park Cricket Club he gave his endless support to the club, in addition to his alma mater, Fatima College, he also made contributions to countless secondary schools and sports clubs in T&T,” he added.
Furthermore, Sabga was a sports fanatic, he loved his West Indies and Soca Warriors teams, with whom he gave his endless support to, all over the world.
Matthew recounted a story in which, even when he was sick and undergoing chemotherapy, on his last trip home to T&T, he went to the Hasely Crawford Stadium to watch his Soca Warriors team play for one last time against Guatemala.
That relentless passion for sport can be appreciated within the countless articles of memorabilia, gifted to him through his friendships in sport, and hung proudly throughout his dream-come-true sports bar and restaurant ‘Trotters’.
One of the lesser-known highlights of Sabga’s sporting background was that he ran on former FIFA referee Ramesh Ramdhan’s ticket for the post of Vice-President of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association in the November 2015 elections.
His goal, his son explained, stemmed from his disappointment of the mismanagement of the national team, “he had nothing to gain from being vice president, this was purely his passion for T&T football, he wanted to give back to T&T football, being a life-long fan, he wanted to help take T&T football forward and not backward,” he said.
Words cannot begin to portray the type of man John E Sabga was, but as a friend of Sabga’s, Brian Lara, mentioned prior to dedicating a community T20 cricket tour match in his honour, “It is difficult to find a more passionate and knowledgeable man in sport as John Sabga and it’s guys like him that inspire you daily to keep going.”
In his memory, today, his wife, Natalie Sabga has launched the John E Sabga Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer.
The non-profit organisation aims to raise money to fund research and clinical trials to find an answer to the disease, and to educate and give back to the people of T&T who have suffered at the hands of the disease. To learn more about the foundation and to donate to the cause you can visit thejesfoundation.com