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Rangers and Pro League chairman Richard Fakoory passes away at 71.

Richard Fakoory, a stalwart and servant of football in Trinidad and Tobago has passed away aged 71 on Wednesday morning.

Fakoory, who would have celebrated his 72nd birthday on June 22, had held the positions of interim Trinidad and Tobago Pro League chairman for the past year and chairman of Terminix La Horquetta Rangers, formerly St. Ann’s Rangers—the club he relinquished ownership of after 44 years.

Fakoory had a medical emergency and underwent surgery on Tuesday at West Shore Medical in Cocorite before his passing.

The loss came a shock to Pro League CEO Julia Baptiste after the US Army veteran sent WhatsApp messages to her early Wednesday morning explaining he will return to football duties after a few days.

Baptiste said the passing of Fakoory is a huge loss for football.

“Mr. Fakoory was a gentleman, passionate for football,” she said. “Everyone knows he was well-involved in football and even after new ownership at Rangers, he was still trying to help so that the club can be that professional organization he believed it can be.

“He was very passionate about the sport and was generally a very cool person that served many young people.”

Richard Piper, a close friend and director at Rangers, said, “everything is still a blur”.

“It’s a sad day for football,” added Piper, who is also the Trinidad and Tobago national team manager. “The world, as a result, has lost a true gem. Words can’t begin to describe the loss.”

Funeral arrangements and plans to honour Mr. Fakoory will be revealed in the coming days.

On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of the Pro League, our deepest sympathies go out the family and friends of Mr. Richard Fakoory. May God give you the comfort and peace that you seek and may the soul of your loved one rest in peace.

Richard Fakoory's Funeral Service will take place from 10:30am Monday 01 April at St. Finbar's RC Church, Morne Coco Road, Diego Martin.


T&T football, basketball mourns as Fakoory passes.
By Walter Alibey (Guardian).

The foot­ball fra­ter­ni­ty was plunged in­to mourn­ing yes­ter­day fol­low­ing the un­time­ly pass­ing of Richard Fakoory, this coun­try's 'gen­tle gi­ant in foot­ball' at the age of 71.

Fakoory who has ded­i­cat­ed his en­tire life to the de­vel­op­ment of the youth through sports, par­tic­u­lar­ly in bas­ket­ball and foot­ball, died at the West­shore Med­ical Hos­pi­tal at about 4:45 am yes­ter­day morn­ing, mere min­utes af­ter send­ing a What­sApp mes­sage to his Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer (CEO) at the T&T Pro League Ju­lia Bap­tiste, to re­mind her of busi­ness re­lat­ed to the Youth Pro League.

An au­top­sy per­formed yes­ter­day re­vealed that death was due to a mas­sive pul­monary aneurysm.

Fakoory was the chair­man of the T&T Pro League, tak­ing over for Sam Phillips who re­signed last year, and was al­so an ex­ec­u­tive mem­ber of St Ann's Rangers, a club he found­ed and man­aged for many years up un­til a few months ago.

His pass­ing came a day af­ter he had emer­gency surgery for a block­age in his ab­dom­i­nal, which was suc­cess­ful.

The foot­ball and bas­ket­ball fra­ter­ni­ties took all of yes­ter­day to di­gest the shock­ing news of his death.

Bap­tiste, with whom he shared a close friend­ship as col­leagues in the pro league, was lost for words. "It was on­ly about min­utes af­ter 4 am that he sent me a What­sapp mes­sage about let­ters done for the Youth Pro League, and then to hear soon af­ter that he had passed. It's dif­fi­cult to deal with this loss, but I will al­ways re­mem­ber him as some­one who loved the game of foot­ball, some­one who loved the youths and was pas­sion­ate to help" Bap­tiste said.

She added, "Fakoory was al­so some­one who wasn't afraid to speak his mind when he felt he should. But above all, he was gen­uine­ly a nice per­son, down-to-earth, pas­sion­ate about help­ing the young peo­ple in the coun­try and a true friend."

Fakoory and Su­per­star Rangers

Fakoory's en­try in­to the foot­ball fray be­gan some 40 years ago with Su­per­star Rangers which won count­less ti­tles in the North­ern Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (NFA). The St Ann's based club al­so par­tic­i­pat­ed in the Se­mi-Pro­fes­sion­al Foot­ball League and lat­er the Pro­fes­sion­al Foot­ball League which start­ed back in 1998. How­ev­er, Fakoory was any­thing but both­ered by the win­nings in the coun­try's top-flight or sec­ond-tier foot­ball leagues, and found hap­pi­ness in un­earthing young tal­ent, nur­tur­ing them, pro­vid­ing them with the tools to sur­vive, and en­sur­ing they be­come de­cent cit­i­zens, al­though it had cost him a for­tune.

Pres­i­dent John-Williams sends con­do­lences

Pres­i­dent of the TTFA David John-Williams ex­pressed his sym­pa­thy to Richard’s wife An­gela and his two chil­dren Kyle and Rachel.

He said “I am in­deed ex­treme­ly shock up­on hear­ing this sad news. Richard was a stal­wart and life­long ser­vant of foot­ball and sport in T&T. It is a tremen­dous loss for sport in gen­er­al and I wish to ex­tend deep­est con­do­lences to his wife and fam­i­ly.”

He not­ed "The mem­bers of the TTFA and the foot­ball fra­ter­ni­ty are deeply sad­dened by this news. Richard’s love for the game and his gen­tle soul will for­ev­er re­main in our hearts. May God give him eter­nal rest and his fam­i­ly the strength to bear this great pain."

Bas­ket­ball ref Cowie re­flects

Mean­while, Kwame Cowie, mem­ber of the As­so­ci­a­tion of Bas­ket­ball Of­fi­cials of T&T (ABOTT) and ref­er­ee said, " I re­call the days of the orig­i­nal Su­per Ten Bas­ket­ball Tour­na­ment that had Richard at the helm. In fact, he was the face of the tour­na­ment and would de­mand the high­est stan­dard from all par­tic­i­pants. Even though I was not a se­nior mem­ber in ABOTT at that time, I was quite fa­mil­iar with the arrange­ments that at times in­volved Richard of­fer­ing com­plete ref­er­ee’s kits in­clu­sive of jack­ets."

"He was the on­ly or­ga­niz­er in the sport that of­fered pro­tec­tion to ABOTT mem­bers, such that play­ers would be fined for show­ing ob­jec­tion to any calls made by us. It was ob­vi­ous that his ob­jec­tive was all aimed at im­prov­ing the over­all im­age and stan­dard of the sport, to the ex­tent that play­ers could be fined for wear­ing dinged white or dirty socks," Cowie ex­plained.