Wed, Aug


FORMER T&T Pro League chairman Richard Fakoory was remembered for his passion for sport, particularly football and basketball, as well as youth development.

The 71-year-old Fakoory was buried at the Mucurapo cemetery yesterday, after a funeral at St Finbar’s RC Church,Diego Martin.

Fakoory was the Pro League chairman from March 2018 until his death last Wednesday. He was also the owner of St Ann’s Rangers for over 40 years, until he sold the club to Terminix Ltd, and also founded the Super Ten Basketball League, along with fellow businessman Dave Ramkissoon, in 1987.

Speaking at the funeral, T&T men’s football team manager Richard Piper mentioned, “Richard Fakoory (was), apart from my business partner with St Ann’s Rangers Football Club, also a big brother/father figure to me.

“He was someone who was my motivation as far as football was concerned, and I hope someday to, at least follow in his footsteps, in some way (or) fashion. We’ve lost a true gem as far as a human being is concerned.”

Piper, a former FIFA referee, knew Fakoory for 22 years and was persuaded to join the club’s management on his retirement.

“A lot of people would have known him in sport, but he was a very devoted family man,” said Piper. “He did (a lot) for the underprivileged youths in the country, not only in the Port of Spain area but even (in) Tobago. I know he was responsible for moulding a number of players who would have gone through to represent our national team. Richard was truly a gem of an individual.”

Delivering the eulogy was Fakoory’s son Kyle, who spoke about his father’s love for his family. He also touched on his father’s communication skills.

“When one person was talking, the next one was listening,” said Kyle. “If both of us were talking together, we can’t get it done or we can’t understand.”

Ex-Rangers player and coach Clayton Morris described Fakoory as “very passionate about both basketball and football.”

The Strike Squad captain and central defender said, “My family were very close with him. Hearing the news of his passing, I called my sister and we cried together on the phone. That’s to tell you the kind of family bonding we had.

“We did have a little misunderstanding with regards to Rangers and (its sale to) Terminix. We (were) supposed to discuss the issue. We didn’t have time and then he met his demise.

“I must send condolences to his wife (Angela). My family are all praying for her and we wish her all the best through this journey. It’s a tough one, but God knows best. May Richard’s soul rest in peace.”

Morris said, Fakoory was responsible for “a lot of youths who came out of Rangers and went on to play for TT. The players in Rangers would respect him, and we’ll always cherish those moments. He gave his life to help those youths in the community.”

Also paying tribute to Fakoory yesterday was Pro League CEO Julia Baptiste, who said she would miss Fakoory.

Anthony Streete, former Rangers coach, touched upon his time at the club, when, he said, Fakoory always stressed the need to see youths improve.

Among those at yesterday’s service were TT Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams and his predecessor Raymond Tim Kee, past national players Brent Sancho, Angus Eve and Clayton Ince, TT Super League president Keith Look Loy, TT Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis, and members of the football, basketball and business communities.

SOURCE: T&T Newsday


Fakoory - A Genuine Youth Developer
By Colin Murray (Guardian).

The sud­den pass­ing of Richard Elias Fakoory left me stunned in the same man­ner as that of young Ste­fan Mon­teil. Richard was 71 and I nev­er knew him to have any health is­sues so when he died with his wife at his side, it made me yet again re­flect on life. It brought back mem­o­ries of a con­ver­sa­tion be­tween my good friend Stan­ley Hunter and I in our younger days af­ter I said to him, “Stan boy you mov­ing fast I hope you don't suf­fer from burn out.” His im­me­di­ate re­sponse was, “Mur­ray, let me tell you some­thing, this life ain't no dress re­hearsal so I liv­ing and fur­ther­more, I nev­er met any­body who said to me they were here be­fore.” I couldn't ar­gue with those words as they were so true.

Fakoory was a true gen­tle­man - very hum­ble and al­ways will­ing to reach out to who­ev­er was in need of his as­sis­tance. I met the gen­tle­man some 31 years ago when he ap­proached me seek­ing spon­sor­ship, not for foot­ball, but bas­ket­ball as he had just start­ed the Su­per10 Bas­ket­ball League (SBL). It was my first en­counter with him and he ap­peared very gen­uine in want­i­ng to sup­port the youths and get them off the streets and play­ing bas­ket­ball.

The Su­per10 con­sist­ed of the 10 best play­ing bas­ket­ball teams in the coun­try play­ing for prize mon­ey that ex­ceed­ed the ex­pec­ta­tions of the bas­ket­ball fra­ter­ni­ty. Gen­tle­man Richard and his part­ner Dave Ramkissoon pound­ed the pave­ments seek­ing spon­sor­ship and of course he suc­ceed­ed in reach­ing his goals be­cause it was felt that with Richard at the helm with his ad­min­is­tra­tive and op­er­a­tional skills, the league was go­ing to be suc­cess­ful. It cer­tain­ly was suc­cess­ful as the league op­er­at­ed for many years and the tem­plate for its suc­cess was copied by the Na­tion­al Bas­ket­ball Fed­er­a­tion (NBF) of T&T.

It was no sur­prise to me when he got more in­volved in foot­ball again as­sist­ing the youths. He al­ways placed the play­ers at the fore­front and al­ways want­ed what he felt would have been best for them. At the time I was still work­ing at Carib and a cou­ple of the guys from the bot­tling hall came to my of­fice one day and said they want­ed to en­ter a team in the then TTFF East zone. I thought it was a delu­sion­al idea - a bunch of fac­to­ry work­ers who bot­tle beer and work in the var­i­ous ware­hous­es want to tack­le the pow­er­hous­es of the East zone like San Juan Jabloteh and the likes? Worse than that, they asked me to coach the team. Not want­i­ng to refuse them as I felt in­te­gra­tion with the of­fice staff and the guys from the fac­to­ry was good for morale with­in the com­pa­ny, I oblig­ed.

I was pleas­ant­ly sur­prised at the abil­i­ty of the guys and I felt once I could in­stil some dis­ci­pline and or­gan­i­sa­tion in­to the team, they would do well and sud­den­ly oth­er teams start­ed to take no­tice of the Carib FC team. They were mak­ing a name for them­selves in the East Zone. I was quite con­tent to go along with the play­ers I had as we kept the squad con­fined to those who ac­tu­al­ly worked at the Brew­ery.

The rea­son for this back­ground is sim­ple. One day I got a phone call from Richard and he said he had a play­er for me. I told him I did not need any play­ers as I have enough here on the team. He lit­er­al­ly begged me and would not put down the phone. He said the play­er would run through a brick wall for me and all he want­ed me to do was give him a job. That play­er was Mar­vin An­drews. Mar­vin at the time had rep­re­sent­ed the T&T youth team but had suf­fered a se­ries of in­juries and was just re­turn­ing to com­pet­i­tive foot­ball.

Here was Richard Fakoory of­fer­ing me a play­er that would have made his team - ECM Mo­town - with­out a prob­lem but his ma­jor con­cern was not him­self or his own team, but for Mar­vin to get a job and still play foot­ball at a com­pet­i­tive lev­el. His­to­ry would show that with Mar­vin in the team, we went on to win the East Zone and qual­i­fied for the Cham­pi­on of Cham­pi­ons league and then qual­i­fied for the Se­mi-pro League. At that point, I couldn't con­tin­ue and Mar­vin left for a pro­fes­sion­al con­tract with Raith Rovers F.C. in Scot­land but all this was be­cause of Richard Fakoory.

Every time I en­coun­tered Richard he was the same way. I nev­er heard him raise his voice even though some of the peo­ple who worked with him in bas­ket­ball would tell a dif­fer­ent sto­ry - he was tough. I met him in the gro­cery with his wife shop­ping a few weeks ago and he was chat­ting to me about lo­cal foot­ball. I could have felt the pain in his voice and he said to me, “would you come on board?” and I promised him we will talk. Sad­ly that was my fi­nal dis­cus­sion with him.

Richard Fakoory will al­ways be re­mem­bered as a peo­ple's per­son and my deep­est con­do­lences to his fam­i­ly and all those who were touched by his gen­uine kind­ness. May he rest in peace.

Ed­i­tor's note: The views ex­pressed in this col­umn are sole­ly those of the writer and do not re­flect the views of any or­grani­sa­tion of which he is a stake­hold­er.