The landscape of personalities across football in Trinidad and Tobago is peppered with egos that are less guardians of the game’s best interests and more protectors of their patches of dominion. It is also salted with other temperaments, willing masters to willing serfs and willing serfs to willing masters,  who are ultra cautious of those who do not render them patronage and tribute or relevance and survival. Richard Fakoory, to my assessment, was neither of these defensive, sharp-edged and unfortunate dispositions. He was approachable, collaborative, down to earth, engaging, frank, humble, transparent and non-triangulating. He appreciated that football would outlast him and that his responsibility was to the enduring greater good of the sport locally, rather than to the convenience of his fleeting present. In my estimation, this is one reason why he resisted participating in the arms race of escalating player wages that often lured fine players from his club on to perceived greener pastures, but that also occasionally bounced them back to Rangers as prodigal sons.

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Busi­ness­man Lyn­d­say Gillette was vot­ed chair­man of the foot­ball com­mis­sion to steer T&T foot­ball in­to a new era. The com­mis­sion was set up on the ad­vice of FI­FA/CON­CA­CAF/UE­FA of­fi­cials who vis­it­ed T&T to give rec­om­men­da­tions on ways to im­prove the sport. One of the rec­om­men­da­tions was to have a sin­gle man­age­ment team from the su­per league, pro league and TTFA to over­see the man­age­ment op­er­a­tions of a tier one and tier two foot­ball com­pe­ti­tions.

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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.

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