Fennell: We have lost a strong leader
Jamaica Olympic Association President Mike Fennell yesterday said that the country has lost a strong leader in sports.
Speaking after the death of Jamaica Football Federation President Captain Horace Burrell, Fennell said: "We are desperately in need of leaders, people who are prepared to stand up and be counted and who can provide the type of leadership that is necessary in all the areas of our lives.
"Whether you agreed with him or believed in what he did, you could not question the fact that he was a leader and led in the way he knew best. Certainly we have lost a very strong leader in sports," Fennell said.
Other local football administrators admitted that though they knew Burrell was seriously ailing for some time and that the end was near, the news of losing the iconic football figure was devastating.
Burrell passed away in the United States yesterday, and Montego Bay United's chairman, Orville Powell, one of the JFF's biggest critics, said he was shocked by the news, as the federation boss was larger than life.
"It (the news) caught me when I was playing table tennis and I had to stop. We all expected this, ... but when it comes, it's a different thing.
"Captain, in my mind, cannot die ... . If there is one person who made the most significant contribution (to local football), I would put Captain up there. ... We cannot allow Captain and his work to die ... . He has taken us to the peak," Powell noted.
NEWS HIT HARD
Harbour View Football Club Chairman Carvel Stewart agreed that the news hit hard, even though they knew the severity of his situation.
"Very sad day for the game, very sad day for his family. We send deepest condolences to his family, friends and the football fraternity.
"We got word he was not eating or sleeping and it sounded really bad. So we got a hint last night that it was close, but you are never really ready ... ," he said.
Kingston and St Andrew Football Association President Wayne Shaw said Burrell will be greatly missed.
"He made his mark as the first president to take Jamaica to the World Cup. He will be sadly missed. A big void will be left in Jamaica's football," Shaw said.