Veterans Football Foundation launch at Hyatt November 30

Walter Alibey
Date Published: 
Trinidad Newsday

ONE HUNDRED years of football in Trinidad and Tobago will be celebrated on November 30 with a sumptious brunch at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Port-of-Spain.

The event is being arranged by the Veteran Footballers Foundation (VFF) which is the brainchild of Tansley Thompson, an experienced footballer, boxing manager and promoter.

The brunch will precede an honours function slated for early next year when a large number of past national footballers will be recognised by the VFF for their service to the development of the sport in the twin- island republic.

A number of players have been chosen for awards but the VFF is asking for recommendations by the public for past players who they feel should also be honoured. Members of the public should contact Tansley Thompson at 727-4582 or 628-6752 with their suggestions. Among those expected to be honoured are Joseph “Babsie” Daniel, Thor Schjolseth, Geoff Chambers, Alfred Charles, John “Bull” Sutherland, Edgar Espinal, Andy Ganteaume, Gerry Gomez, Alvin “Golden Boy” Rodriguez, Joey Gonsalves, Gilbert Charleau, Doyle Griffith, Carlton “Squeaky” Hinds, Shay Seympur and Willie Rodriguez among many others.

Thompson said the players to be honoured will be selected by their peers and will represent the outstanding talents of the different era in the history of the sport in Trinidad and Tobago. The event will also mark the official formation of the VFF which will attempt to reunite the country’s past footballers who over the years have gone unrecognised by the public.

The VFF has already held a “fun session” at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain in where a large number of veteran footballers played together for the first time since their heyday. Thompson revealed also that the VFF will also throw its support behind the Football Players’ Association of Trinidad and Tobago (FPATT). FPATT has been trying without much success to get the recognition of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) to bargain on behalf of the footballers.

Earlier this year the TTFF staged a gala function honouring more than 200 former players and officials for their contribution to the game at a function attended by several world football personalities.

Among them were Sepp Blatter, FIFA president; Michel Platini, UEFA president; and Lord Triesman, chairman of the English FA.

Also present was Dr Joao Havelange, former president of FIFA under whom FIFA vice president Jack Warner led rose to become one of the most influential figures in world football.