FORMER TT Pro League chairman Richard Fakoory was remembered for his passion for sport, particularly football and basketball, as well as youth development.
The 71-year-old Fakoory was buried at the Mucurapo cemetery yesterday, after a funeral at St Finbar’s RC Church,Diego Martin.
Fakoory was the Pro League chairman from March 2018 until his death last Wednesday. He was also the owner of St Ann’s Rangers for over 40 years, until he sold the club to Terminix Ltd, and also founded the Super Ten Basketball League, along with fellow businessman Dave Ramkissoon, in 1987.
Speaking at the funeral, TT men’s football team manager Richard Piper mentioned, “Richard Fakoory (was), apart from my business partner with St Ann’s Rangers Football Club, also a big brother/father figure to me.
“He was someone who was my motivation as far as football was concerned, and I hope someday to, at least follow in his footsteps, in some way (or) fashion. We’ve lost a true gem as far as a human being is concerned.”
Piper, a former FIFA referee, knew Fakoory for 22 years and was persuaded to join the club’s management on his retirement.
“A lot of people would have known him in sport, but he was a very devoted family man,” said Piper. “He did (a lot) for the underprivileged youths in the country, not only in the Port of Spain area but even (in) Tobago. I know he was responsible for moulding a number of players who would have gone through to represent our national team. Richard was truly a gem of an individual.”
Delivering the eulogy was Fakoory’s son Kyle, who spoke about his father’s love for his family. He also touched on his father’s communication skills.
“When one person was talking, the next one was listening,” said Kyle. “If both of us were talking together, we can’t get it done or we can’t understand.”
Ex-Rangers player and coach Clayton Morris described Fakoory as “very passionate about both basketball and football.”
The Strike Squad captain and central defender said, “My family were very close with him. Hearing the news of his passing, I called my sister and we cried together on the phone. That’s to tell you the kind of family bonding we had.
“We did have a little misunderstanding with regards to Rangers and (its sale to) Terminix. We (were) supposed to discuss the issue. We didn’t have time and then he met his demise.
“I must send condolences to his wife (Angela). My family are all praying for her and we wish her all the best through this journey. It’s a tough one, but God knows best. May Richard’s soul rest in peace.”
Morris said, Fakoory was responsible for “a lot of youths who came out of Rangers and went on to play for TT. The players in Rangers would respect him, and we’ll always cherish those moments. He gave his life to help those youths in the community.”
Also paying tribute to Fakoory yesterday was Pro League CEO Julia Baptiste, who said she would miss Fakoory.
Anthony Streete, former Rangers coach, touched upon his time at the club, when, he said, Fakoory always stressed the need to see youths improve.
Among those at yesterday’s service were TT Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams and his predecessor Raymond Tim Kee, past national players Brent Sancho, Angus Eve and Clayton Ince, TT Super League president Keith Look Loy, TT Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis, and members of the football, basketball and business communities.