Former national football coach Anthony Rudolph Gouveia, who passed at the age of 88 at Mt Hope Hospital on Sunday after being ill for a short time, was laid to rest on Friday, but not before Everald “Gally” Cummings, one of his players, said his final goodbye during the funeral service at the St Theresa’s Roman Catholic Church on 6th Avenue, Malick, Barataria.
In his tribute to Tony he wrote: “I have known Mr Tony Gouveia since aged 14 as a youngster living at the corner of Dundonald Street and Melville Lane, a stone throw from the Queen’s Park Savannah. We had our community football team and some of our older players were members of the Paragon Sports Club—First Division team coached by Govie. On evenings after school, we all went to Queen’s Park Savannah (QPS) for our regular football practice with our community football team. I didn’t know that Govie was already enquiring about me through my older brother Philbert, who at the time was playing for Paragon’s Senior Team. I was then given a scholarship to Paragon Sports Club by Govie and started playing for the second division team in the POSFL at aged 14.
“Govie practically took me over as his son and that was so until his passing. I remember the early morning training sessions at 5 am at the QPS. And the 6 pm training sessions at the club house in Cocorite. We loved our coach so much that we ran from Dundonald Street to the training at the club house in Cocorite. In 1964 at age 15, under Govie’s coaching and leadership we won POSFL first division and all other trophies in Trinidad including the national title. In 1965 I was selected to the Trinidad and Tobago senior national team at 16.
“He was instrumental in my transfer to Fatima College, winning their first ever Inter-Col championship, also in 1965. In 1967 I signed a professional contract to play for the Atlanta Chiefs Soccer Club in the inauguration of the NASL. All these achievements were under his guidance. Govie was a coach, parent, advisor, friend, financier, teacher.
“He was always very positive even in the midst of negatives. He always talked to me about not compromising my principles, keeping my integrity intact, to be disciplined and show commitment at the highest level. He taught me that there was no substitute for hard work. These are values I hold steadfastly and which I imbued as a coach and which helped me in shaping our famous Strike Squad and contributing to moulding some of our outstanding national players like Yorke, Latapy, Brian Williams and others. It was Govie’s model that shaped me as a coach as well.
“I have played under the leadership of many coaches at national, international and professional levels, but I have never met a coach like him. He went beyond the call of duty for his players and gave his all to make them their best self. Govie’s legacy will always live on and I was blessed to have him play this major role in my life. I am eternally grateful to him and I will always keep his memories etched in my heart. May God bless your soul until we meet again! I love you coach, mentor and friend.”
Gouveia was a former St Mary’s stand-out, a student of the great game and he followed it by attending the World Cup finals in Mexico and the USA and he also attended an Olympic Games in his effort to become the perfect analysis.
Gouveia, who grew up in Port-of-Spain, but later moved to Barataria, was a fighter to the end and the results of his work would be evidence of the great contribution he has made during his long and illustrious career.
He leaves to mourn his wife of 62 years Carol, and seven children—Christopher, Michael, Denyse, Patrice, Julie-Ann, Rhonda and Marisol, together with seven grandchildren.
Tony Gouveia, a football genius, has died.
T&T Guardian Reports.
Amidst all the excitement regarding our football future Tony Gouveia, a former national coach has passed on at the age of 88.
He was head coach of Paragon in the great days of the Port-of-Spain Football League (PoSFL) and in 1964 the club won every title that was at stake in football.
He was ill for a short time and died at the Mt Hope Hospital on Sunday morning very peacefully.
He was a general secretary of the T&T cricket board in the late sixties, and many will know him as the coach who was instrumental in the upbringing of Everard “Gally” Cummings from early football career straight into our national team.
A gentleman of the highest standards and maybe the most inspirational and demanding of all national coaches during his era. Those who knew Tony as well as I did, will have vouched for his stringent request for absolute discipline and deportment on and off the field from his players, and had the ultimate desire to guide the destiny of anyone with whom he came in contact.
The former St Mary’s stand-out, was also a student of the great game and followed it by attending the World Cup finals in Mexico and the USA and he also attended the Olympic Games in his effort to become the perfect analysis.
Those who believe that this stalwart of the Fifties and Seventies would have left us bemoaning the poor quality of our football administration, should desist from the thought.
Tony, who grew up in Port-of-Spain, but later migrated to Barataria, was a fighter to the end and the results of his work would be evidence of the great contribution he has made during his long and illustrious career.
My friends, this country has lost yet another technical genius in our football history. He has left his son Chris, a former Fatima college winger, with the natural talent of a player, but an individual with the spiritual and academic strength to lead many of the current football bosses into the right direction.
He was the father of seven children, two boys and five girls.
Thank you Tony for being among us as a friend, advisor, and great sporting contributor in almost every aspect of sport, whether it be player, coach, or administrator.
His funeral will take place on Friday at 10 am at the St Theresa’s Roman Catholic Church, 6th Avenue, Malick Barataria.
Can we all just whisper a prayer for such a competent legend for sport in the country? May he rest in peace as we send condolences to his bereaved family. R.I.P My friend.