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Sat, Oct

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Eleven former sporting personalities will be inducted in the First Citizens Sports Foundation Sports Hall Of Fame later today at a gala ceremony from 6.15 pm at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Port of Spain, and among them will be the man who has scored the most goals for T&T in football Stern John.

John, who has scored 70 goals for T&T and has been credited as the main man in the 2006 ‘Soca Warriors’ team qualifying for the World Cup in Germany, will join the elites in sports in T&T. Apart from John, the others to join this elite group are former national cricketer Louise Browne-Jackson, athletics administrator Douglas Barzey, who will receive his award posthumously, ex-cricket captain and opening batsman Daren Ganga, Bryan Davis, 1898 “Strike Squad” defender Clayton Morris, Angus Eve, Mr race horse Brian Harding, Stephanie Power and former national spinner Ranji Nanan. 

Yesterday John said he was happy to have been chosen to be among the best sportsmen ans women in T&T. “It’s a fantastic feeling to be recognised for your achievement. And to add to this, the hall of fame represents the best sportsmen and women in T&T” John said. 

John began his career at the Arouca Government Primary School as a multi-talented sportsman in cricket and football before moving to Five Rivers and then El Dorado Secondary where he focussed on football, particularly because of his goalscoring ability. He helped El Dorado, nicknamed ‘The Blue Thunder’ to the East Zone Intercol title before he was elevated to the national team where he grew in prominence. 

He scored a number of goals for T&T, Columbus Crew, Nottingham Forest and other clubs in the English First Division to be recognised as a deadly goalscorer. 

The closest scorer to him for T&T was Angus Eve who was a distant second with some 30 goals to his name. Dave Lamy, a member of the foundation said specific attention has been paid to relatively young sport achievers. He explained that a number of people have received recognition for their achievements in sport when they are old and others when they have died. 

To be considered for induction in the hall of fame athletes are required to submit information on their achievements and must not be actively involved in the sport. The foundation will also conduct their investigation to verify the info, by speaking to people and doing google search among others.

Meanwhile there are concerns of bias within the selection of athletes for this year’s induction process. Top hockey queen Stacy Sui Butt is claiming that her application to be among the group of inductees in January was not considered because officials told her that she cannot be actively involved in sports presently. Sui Butt who has for years now, called it quits on her career, now plays for recreation in the T&T Hockey Board tournament. 

However she noted that while her application was not considered, one of tonight’s inductees is a current player with a team in the Super League Football Tournament. She is claiming bias, saying that she pointed it out officials of the sports foundation but her plight was ignored. 

She called for the foundation to be honest, fair and transparent in its selection process so that other local athletes do not suffer as she has.