JWN's Smith hails Burrell as selfless leader
Highlighting the passionate and selfless contribution of Captain Horace Burrell to Jamaica's football legacy, Cecil Smith Jnr, commercial director of long-standing sports sponsor, J. Wray and Nephew Limited (JWN), paid tribute to the former President of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF).
Burrell, who had been ill for the past year and was undergoing treatment at the Johns Hopkins Cancer Treatment Centre in Maryland, United States, passed away on June 6 at the age of 67, leaving behind sons Romario and Jaeden and daughter Tiphani Burrell-Piggott. Smith noted JWN's long association with football and Burrell dating back to when they were title sponsors of the National Premier League. Today, the company continues its support of the sport via sponsorship of the parish Super League competitions.
"I found him to be a noble son of the soil ... who genuinely wanted to advance the development of the game of football locally," said Smith.
He added: "Burrell acted selflessly where football was concerned. He was an honest and reasonable man who kept the development of the sport of football at the heart of everything he said and did."
The JWN executive also singled out Burrell as a loyalist, noting his push to have the company recognised for their Premier League sponsorship.
"When we came on board, he was extremely grateful, because we had stepped in at a time when it was difficult to secure corporate sponsorship. The value of the sponsorship amounted to well over $100 million, a hefty sum, even by today's standards. Burrell in his wisdom recognised that it was crucial for him to partner with a reputable organisation like J. Wray and Nephew in order to continue the development of the sport locally," Smith observed.
Continuing, Smith noted that "although JWN is no longer the title sponsor, the company has, nevertheless, remained an avid football supporter.
Burrell appreciated this, and sought to include us at every opportunity."
"Burrell always focused on how he, personally, or through an organisation he led, vis-‡-vis Captain's Bakery or the JFF, could help Jamaican footballers achieve greatness and climb in the rankings.
Captain never lost his focus on identifying local talent and giving them the best visibility that we could give in any competition. This will be my fondest memory and a continuing source of inspiration for years to come," Smith concluded.