Tue, Aug

David John-Williams (right)

A passionate visionary and a pioneer.

That is how former Trinidad and Tobago Football Association president William Wallace and former Minister of Sport Brent Sancho described the late David John-Williams, who passed away yesterday.

John-Williams took over the TTFA presidency from Raymond Tim Kee (deceased) in November 2015 and served in as the head of the organisation until November 2019 when Wallace took the reins.

He was also the founder and president of the W Connection Football and dabbled in cricket with W Connection Wanderers competing at the highest level of T&T cricket for a number of years.

Sancho, a former Minister of Sport who represented T&T at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, said John-Williams’ legacy looms large in T&T football and that he made a significant impact to the development of the game. “David was a visionary and a pioneer in what he did,” said Sancho.

“He was fully committed to football. His life was football and he was a passionate individual and to suggest that his passing is massive loss to football is an understatement. I think when you look at his contribution, it will transcend beyond generations,” he added.

Wallace shared similar sentiments saying that although they had their differences in terms of TTFA politics, “his heart was in the right place.”

“I think he has made a tremendous contribution to the sport of football through his club and as president of the FA. He did make an effort to get some stuff done as president of the FA and sometimes we would disagree on the way it was done. But I think he made a tremendous effort and I think his heart was in the right place and he will definitely be missed in the football fraternity,” said Wallace.

“It was a not real shock because I was aware of his ailment and it was really sad and we were on different political sides but he is a human being and when a human leaves us, it is always a sad thing and I am sending condolences to his family,” Wallace added.

In terms of the legacy left by the former TTFA boss, Wallace agreed that the Home of Football will be high on the list.

“It was constructed under his regime and he was directly involved in its construction and there are many issues surrounding it but at the end of the day the project was done and it is for whoever comes after to try to see if they can improve on what was left behind but definitely that will be a legacy of David John Williams,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sancho said John-Williams’ was also an instrumental figure in professional football in T&T. “From a playing perspective, what he did in terms the TT Pro League and the instrumental role the Pro League played in our qualification for youth World Cups and senior World Cups is there to be scene as well,” Sancho declared.

“David was the type of individual that was very forceful and very passionate. He bled football and even in his leadership you saw that. He was the type that had a vision for the sport and very few could tell him different about that vision,” he continued.

“As a president, I worked with him in the TT Pro League in the board and even when Central FC first came into the league, he was one of first persons we spoke to for advice and guidance. He wore his emotions on his sleeve and in a time when people talk about Trinidad and Tobago and its administration, for a tiny country we’ve been very successful in our exploits on the field and people like David was instrumental in that success,” Sancho explained.

“I think it has rocked out world in the TT Pro League because of what he meant to the League, to the board and to professional football so it is a big loss a lot of the board members are speechless. As much as we would have known about him ailing for a while, a lot of us were still very downtrodden by the news,” he added.

In terms of what keeping his memory alive, Sancho said it was important that something be done so that future generations will know impact John-Williams had on the sport.

“We tend too much on this country to forget and sometimes sweep a person’s legacy under the carpet. For me personally, I would love something is done enshrine what he has done and understand the impact he would have had so that future generations will have that understanding of his contribution,” Sancho concluded. 

SOURCE: T&T Express