FIFA Badge For John Richards

Date Published: 
Jamaica Gleaner

Good things come to those who wait says retired referee

"GOOD things come to those who wait". That's how John 'Bulla John' Richards summed up his finest hour yesterday. He could not have put it any better.

For years one of the island's leading match officials, Richards was honoured by FIFA yesterday at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel for his outstanding contribution to football as a referee. President of the Caribbean Football Union, Austin 'Jack' Warner, who is also a vice-president of FIFA, in presenting Richards with his official FIFA badge, apologized to the veteran referee that the award took so long in coming, adding that Richards' service "had gone un-noticed for too long."

The polished 71-year-old was also presented with a commemorative tie, pin and gold medal, all courtesy of FIFA.

Richards, who began his career as a referee in 1946, thanked Warner and FIFA for their recognition, and typical of the man, requested similar rewards for his contemporaries one of whom, Karl Stewart, was presented with an official FIFA tie.

Interestingly, Richards who officiated in twelve World Cup qualifying matches, pointed out that his favourite game was not football, but cricket. He was for years employed as a coach by the Jamaica Cricket Board of Control, representing Caymanas and Monymusk in the Sugar Estates league as well as Kensington in the Minor Cup as a offspinner. He also coached Wolmer's, St. George's College and Excelsior High School at the Sunlight Cup level.