FORMER NATIONAL football team manager Richard Braithwaite has been remembered for his humility and the work he did to inspire youngsters in the game.
The 61-year-old Braithwaite passed away in January after a brief illness.
According to ex-Trinidad and Tobago team midfielder and coach Everald “Gally” Cummings, “we were youngsters playing in Port of Spain. He was with a team called Soul City and I was a little guy playing with Glory Guys. Those were community teams.
“He had always had a love for people, for communities and anything that was positive and good,” he continued. “I remember in the old days, before Trintoc (team) was started, I was coaching with him, organising all the players and getting things together. He was a visionary.”
Cummings, the only footballer to be named as Sportsman of the Year, stated that Braithwaite will be remembered mainly for “the fact that he made a group of people strong. He would come in to a programme that wasn’t functioning and put it on top of the world. He had ability to motivate people and to keep the car going, even if it didn’t have gas in it.”
Another former Trintoc player and national striker Philbert Jones described Braithwaite as “a lovely man, a very nice person.
“He always cared about the youths, especially where sports is concerned,” Jones, uncle of national captain Kenwyne Jones, added. “When he saw a player with potential, he (would look) to develop them. He was always willing to help you, so long as you give him that kind of response, he would always be there for you, as an individual.”
Another player with fond memories of Braithwaite was ex-national utility player and captain Anthony Rougier.
“Braithwaite had impacted my life tremendously, from a perspective of the person that I am today and what I have become,” said Rougier. “He saw something in me from the early days of me never sniffing of what a national team has been like.”
Rougier added, “I do believe what he has done for football is a great as anybody else in the country, not only in my life but I know for a fact that my children know who he was. When I became a professional footballer, he was one of the guys who was instrumental in making that happen.
He continued, “he also installed a lot of belief in myself, my confidence in who I am, it’s all because of the grace of God. But God uses men, and I do believe that Brathwaite was one of the guys that God used. I owe a lot of who I am today to him. One of the main reasons for me coming back to Trinidad seven years ago was Richard Brathwaite as well.”