Jamaica’s football has suffered a major blow with the passing of a national sporting icon, businessman, and philanthropist, Captain Horace Burrell, the president of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF).
Captain Horace Burrell died on Tuesday afternoon (June 6) in hospital in the United States.
He was 67 years old.
Burrell was known to be battling cancer since last year, according to the Jamaica Observer.
Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the death of Captain Burrell is a loss to many communities throughout the island and will leave a significant gap in the national football programme.
“Captain dedicated his life to serving Jamaica. He had a dream that Jamaica could compete with the best of the best in the football field. He was dedicated in ensuring Jamaica realized that dream of being in the World Cup finals with the Reggae Boyz in 1998,” said Prime Minister Holness.
“The nation has lost not only a father of our international football reputation but also a man who invested significantly in community development through Captain’s Bakery by sponsoring many leagues throughout the island,” the prime minister added.
At the time of his death Captain Burrell remained active in his companies as CEO and founder of both Captain’s Bakery and Captain’s Aviation Service.
Mr. Holness said the nation must pause and reflect on the life and great works of Captain Burrell.
The Prime Minister extended sincere condolences to his family and friends, the football fraternity and the entire Captain’s Bakery family.
Known as a strong leader, Horace Burrell a captain in the Jamaica Defence Force rose to prominence with the military team before being elected to the JFF presidency in 1994.
Burrell was instrumental in Jamaica’s qualification to the 1998 FIFA World Cup Finals in France.
He was also a prominent figure in regional football holding several positions in the Caribbean Football Union and CONCACAF.
He received Jamaica’s fourth highest national honour, the Commander of the Order of Distinction (CD) in 1998.
He also received the highest award, Order of Merit, from the world football governing body, FIFA.
Captain Horace Burrell was born February 8, 1950, in May Pen, Clarendon.