LONG-TIME sports enthusiast and administrator Anthony Harford, who held numerous positions in media and broadcasting, has died. He was 68.
One of Harford’s last positions in local sports was as a member of the United TT Football Association (TTFA), which was at the helm of local football briefly from November 2019-March 2020.
Harford, a former marketing manager and director at All Sport Promotions, played a leading role in helping to propel local sports. He was also a sports broadcast anchor, who worked at TTT and also ran the now-defunct WMJX 100.5FM.
He was involved in a range of sports, including football, cricket and horse racing. He marketed and managed the Shell Caribbean Cup, which was a football competition involving countries throughout the region.
He was a former manager of the TT Carifta team, president of the Northern Football Association and a former presidential candidate for the TT Cricket Board (in 1999).
Harford was always accommodating and willing to help the media.
As a resident of Cascade, Harford would be seen exercising in the nearby Botanical Gardens around the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port of Spain.
Many paid tribute to Harford on Friday.
William Wallace, a friend and former president of the TTFA (United TTFA), said, “I am just totally devastated.”
Wallace said Harford was lively the last time he spoke to him.
“We had quite a lengthy conversation, and of course I promised to visit him.”
Asked how he would measure Harford’s contribution to sport, Wallace said, “Immeasurable contribution to sport. His life was sports.”
Wallace also described his service as “tremendous.”
Former news presenter at TTT and editor in chief at Newsday Jones P Madeira reflected on Harford’s life.
“He stamped himself as an excellent news reader and presenter,” Madeira said. “He is going to be sorely missed. He was a personal friend. I spoke to him about a month ago about him being ill and not being able to do as much as he wanted to again.”
Madeira remembered Harford’s love for music.
“Tony is synonymous with pop radio in Trinidad as much as he became a consummate sportscaster, especially in the field of cricket.”
Madeira said Harford inspired others.
Former sports broadcaster Ashford Jackman worked alongside Harford at TTT for several years in the mid-1970s. Jackman said Harford was a natural.
“I was doing the stories, but he was the man presenting and he was one of the best…many times we did not have a teleprompter.”
He said Harford had the skill of memorising the sports report when the teleprompter was not available.
“He would try to memorise the sports news so that it would be more personal.”
Jackman said Harford was in a class of his own.
“Of course, he had the voice, because he was well trained and he had the radio experience behind him. He was excellent…he loved his cricket, loved horse racing and he adapted to other sports. He was a good interviewer as well…probably the best sports presenter I ever saw.”
Jackman would observe Harford’s presenting style.
“One thing I learned from him is: forget the accent. You don’t need an accent, you are a Trinidadian. You just need proper diction and to pronounce the words properly.”
Jackman also recalled Harford’s passion for music.
The TTFA sent sympathy to Harford’s family. “Deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of veteran sportscaster and administrator Anthony Harford following his passing this (Friday) morning.”
In a TT Cricket Board media release, president Azim Bassarath said 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.
The Media Association of TT (MATT) sent "deepest condolences to Tony Harford's close relatives and friends, the sporting fraternity, and his colleagues, friends and mentees in the media."