A man easily considered as 'Mr Sports' in T&T- Anthony "Tony" Harford, has died. He leaves to mourn his wife, two sisters and a brother, as well as a son Jarred who currently resides in the United States.
He was 68 years old when he passed away peacefully at his home in his sleep on Thursday night, his brother-in-law Keith Cadet confirmed on Friday.
It is not known as yet what he died from, but 'Harfie' as he is affectionately known, had been ailing for a while, having undergone bypass surgery, operation on his eyes and had been taking dialysis for kidney failure, all within the past few years.
His untimely death sent shockwaves throughout the local sporting community, with tributes being poured in by the various sporting bodies- the T&T Football Association and the T&T Cricket Board of Control, and many individuals among them.
Harford, a resident of Cascade also played an instrumental role in the T&T media where he was, not only described as the best sports presenter between 1982 to 1993, but also the best voice on the air during his stint on several radio stations.
Harford's prominence in T&T started from a bold, maybe unthinkable move to set aside his career as a pilot in the 1980s to enter the arenas of sports and the media, with the now-defunct TTT.
His co-worker Ashford Jackman yesterday described him as a main piece of the puzzle as they covered sports. " He was a pretty good professional, he had an excellent voice, well trained, dictation everything. And well he started in radio so he had a very good background when he came into tv as he joined us at TTT.
A very good presenter of the sportscast. In those days it wasn't digital stuff so having a teleprompter was an expensive thing and whenever the teleprompter wasn't working, instead of looking down at the paper all the time, he would try and memorize some of the sports so that he can read it facing the camera and make it more personal.
We were a very good team and he was excellent. You could come to him with a script late, it did not matter, he had a gift to bring things to life.
I know there would have been slip-ups in between but generally, he was the best presenter of sports we had."
Jackman who worked in operations at TTT at the time was transferred to sports where Harford, headlined a list of iconic presenters, inclusive of Anthony Dennison and Dave Lamy. " He was particularly passionate about cricket, I think that was his number one sport and then horse racing, but he adapted, he got involved in football and he would look for other sports. He introduced an exercise club that would do hiking, walking and running. He did a lot of promotion of road running when Raffique Shah handled the TT Marathon Organisation, so he did a lot of promotion of sports."
In spite of all these achievements, the name Anthony Harford resonated in the hearts of many from the radio with 100.1 Fm Jackman said.
"He went away and got voice training and so on and when he came back he was a big hit on radio, that's why everybody knew him long before he started on television, from radio 100.1 Fm on a Saturday night. Everybody knew about Tony Harford on a Saturday night going through until midnight in the 1980s, he was it."
Harford was also an administrator for cricket with local club Clico Preysal at the time, president of the T&T Super League which was formerly the National Super League, owner of All Sport Promotion Company which marketed, promoted and ran many sporting competitions, president of the Northern Football Association (NFA), a founding member of the United T&T Football Association which took over the reins of the management of the sport following hotly contested elections in 2019, and was the main man behind the running of the Republic Bank Youth Cup for many years.
Cadet admitted that besides being Harford's brother-in-law, he developed a deep love for him because of his kind heart, saying: " He was a very good man who was passionate about all his careers.
He was passionate about sports and the development of sport for the youth, he was a qualified airline pilot and he was, testimony to everybody who would have heard him over the years, he was one of the best voices on the air. But most of all, he would leave a legacy of being a kind and generous person.
He has helped everybody who called on him, he has never turned away anyone."
For others, Harford was a mentor and father figure who could have done so much for football in T&T. Richard Piper, who worked closely with him at All Sport Promotions and with the Super League said: " I am still in shock. I know he was ill but I didn't expect that. Tony's passing will and has left a void in the sporting landscape.
Tony, in his endeavours, would have brought the business of sports in TT to the forefront. He pioneered many different events and avenues that people would have bought into. He was indeed an icon in the world of sports and the media. He will always be known as the man from tv.
It's a great loss to me, I look up to Tony almost like a father figure,
the type of opportunities he afforded me in the field of sports is unparalleled."
T&T Marathon 2022 in Harford's honour
Anthony 'Tony' Ignatius Emmanuel Harford, who passed in his sleep on Friday following months of challenges with his health. Tony was not only a versed radio announcer as we are all aware, known for his smooth voice and expert master of ceremonies role. Tony was also a sporting enthusiast of great proportions, not only having played cricket in his junior years, but also was a one time marathoner when he completed the TTIM in 7hours 45 seconds in 2005 at the age of 51, which he was very proud of.
As far as I could remember, Tony took a personal interest in the Trinidad and Tobago Marathon from the early days. In the 1980s and 1990s he featured the T&T Road Runners Club and other running clubs on his radio program promoting distance running, like the Tinactin 10K and encouraging the fraternity. It was through All Sport Promotions he produced video coverage of the T&T International Marathon (TTIM) on several occasions building its profile and making it what it was and is today, an international brand.
In recent years Tony and the T&T Marathon Committee (TTMC) partnered once again bringing it to the forefront of the minds of the running fraternity and securing sponsorships in support of its objectives.
Tony Harford was a pleasant and affable human being, his banter at any committee meeting always lightened the day making it easy for us to have productive and successful communication.
Having known Tony from different arenas, I remember him conducting his charitable Bingo games helping many to raise funds for their cause and never charging for his services. In 1991, when I co-ordinated the opening ceremony of the Carifta Games hosted by the NAAA and held at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, the rain fell heavily and Tony would simply say to me “Diane, not to worry, breathe, everything would be fine”. From that day forward I always had faith that all would be well.
Tony will surely be missed in many circles as his versatility has shown. The TTIM 2022 will be held in his honour as we celebrate 40 years of the race's existence. Condolences to his sister, Abbi De Souza, family, friends and associates and may he forever sleep in peace.
Tributes poured in for Harford
The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association wishes to pay tribute to Anthony Harford, a veteran sportscaster, sports administrator and friend of the FA following his passing at the age of 68.
Mr Harford was the consummate professional in TV, radio and as a sporting administrator and promoter.
His knowledge and delivery made him a favourite of local sports fans – but he was even more beloved by those who knew him or worked with him. He had a genuine interest in the human side of sports
Mr Harford first carved out a niche in the pantheon of local broadcasters as a sports anchor and reporter for TTT.
He covered a wide range of sports which saw him commentate, report and serve as an administrator in some of the most memorable sporting experiences in our history. He also served in West Indies Cricket and regional athletics.
Certainly, he was one of the most recognisable faces and voices in local sport. Not only was he a man of great calmness but he was also one of the gentlemen in the local sporting arena. “Tony” was always optimistic despite the challenges often presented in the administrating and promotion of the local sports.
Harford’s involvement with national football dates back to the 1990 Road to Italy campaign and beyond and later culminated with the 2006 World Cup campaign where he provided yeoman service as a servant in local football with the touring arrangements for the national team and supporters both during the qualifiers and the World Cup in Germany.
He also made a sterling contribution to the archiving of video material of the National Team and contributed to the World Cup DVD documentary. He would later go on to serve as President of the Northern Football Association and the National Super League.
Our sincere thoughts go out to Tony’s family and friends. May his soul rest in eternal peace.
The Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) has sent condolences on the passing of media personality Anthony "Tony" Harford.
President of the TTCB Azim Bassarath said yesterday he was shocked to learn of the news and remembered speaking to the affable Harford as recently as a month ago.
He said Harford will be remembered as a friend of cricket who was also involved as a sports administrator in local football.
Harford was the director at All Sport Promotions Limited and former television news and sports anchor in Trinidad and Tobago for 16 years and a radio presenter for more than three decades.
He is well-known for his impact on local and regional cricket and is remembered for being the first commercial manager of the West Indies cricket team.
He also managed and marketed the first ICC Under-15 Cricket World Championship in the Caribbean and the first cricket event at Disney Wide World of Sport in 1999.
This was the West Indies Windball Championship. He was also the Chairman/President of Clico Preysal Sports Club
His input and expertise in the upliftment of sport and especially local and regional cricket will be remembered.
The former airline pilot started his career as a radio personality and later became better known as a sports administrator, and was at one-time co-owner and managing director of the WMJS easy listening jazz and sports radio station.
He is also remembered for arranging charter flights for local football fans in the 2026 World Cup campaign including a trip to Bahrain in 2005 for the historic play-off match which the Soca Warriors won to qualify for Germany. Harford also took fans to Germany for the preliminary group games for T&T.
Former national cricketer Andre Lawrence wrote:
"Tony Harford alongside his friend and partner Bruce Aanensen changed and helped shape my life. It’s a simple as that. For this, I’m eternally grateful and it’s a debt I could never repay.
With youthful aspirations to become a professional cricketer, it was Tony’s relationship with an English Club that gave me an opportunity to progress quickly into what eventually became my career for 16 odd years. But that wasn’t all as I travelled with Tony with regional cricket teams as captain to the United States and Canada, along with being Head Coach to help guide U17 boys on a trip to New Zealand….a tour that helped produce West Indian Test Cricketer Joshua Da Silva, and national batsman, Keagan Simmons. These and many other tours have contributed to grooming many talented young sportsmen.
I’ll always remember his stints in the media, his hosting of events such as the QPCC Annual Awards etc, and his choices in music. Always easy and enjoyable listening. You don’t get much smoother than Harfie.
I’m saddened to learn of his passing today as I extend condolences to his family and close friends. God’s speed Harfie."
May he rest in eternal peace.
Sports journalist Vidia Ramphal wrote: "Whenever Sarah heard Tony Harford on the radio, she would tell me, "Daddy, that man sounds just like you." Truth is, while I always tried to sound like him, I could only be a poor imitation of one of the greatest broadcasters to grace the airwaves in Trinidad and Tobago.
I worked with Tony for 18 months at All Sports Promotions and it was a great education. All the insights he gave me into sportscasting serve me well up to this day. Thank you, Tony. You were the best. You will never be forgotten..."
SOURCE: T&T Guardian