‘His charisma was remarkable!’ Ex-TTFA president, Raymond Tim Kee, passes away

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Former Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president and Port of Spain Mayor Raymond Tim Kee passed away just after midnight on  Sunday 8 December 2019, according to information relayed by persons close to him.

Tim Kee, a Guardian Life Insurance executive who ran his own insurance firm, RA Tim Kee Investments Limited, had been ailing for some time. He died at his Flagstaff home at roughly 1.30am.

Photo: Former TTFA president and ex-Port of Spain Mayor Raymond Tim Kee (centre) gestures to an Ecuador player while former Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar (right) has a word to her grandson before kick off of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Play Off second leg on 2 December 2014.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

His death has already been recognised by many within the football fraternity, including Trinidad and Tobago Super League (TTSL) president Keith Look Loy and Strike Squad captain and former National Futsal Team head coach Clayton ‘JB’ Morris.

TTFA president William Wallace, who worked as the National Senior Team manager during Tim Kee’s term in office, counted him as a friend.

“He was first and foremost my friend,” Wallace told Wired868. “He was a good human being who cared for his fellowmen. As an administrator, he never micromanaged but instead allowed guided initiative. He had the game at heart and was one of those persons who hurt over the last couple years.

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“I salute the memory of an exceptional man who I knew as a voice of reason. My heartfelt sympathy condolences to his entire family.”

Tim Kee was a longstanding member of the Alcons Soccer Academy run by local legend Alvin Corneal while he came to prominence within the local football fraternity as a vice-president under controversial football official, Jack Warner in the early 1990s. Tim Kee had specific responsibility for finance in the TTFA.

Photo: Former Port of Spain mayor Raymond Tim Kee tries out the furniture at FIFA’s Zurich headquarters during his term as TTFA president.

After Warner quit football—in the midst of a FIFA investigation—Tim Kee offered to head the local body and was elected unopposed in 2012. What followed was the most successful period in Trinidad and Tobago’s football for over a decade.

The Women’s National Senior Team got within one point of the Canada 2015 FIFA World Cup while the Men’s National Senior Team ended a six year absence from the Concacaf Gold Cup and went on to attain successive quarterfinal finishes. The male Soca Warriors climbed to 52nd place in the FIFA rankings.

Tim Kee was replaced by David John-Williams in 2015, as he paid the price for clashes with board members as well as the TTFA’s financial instability and high-profile bungles. However, as the local football body subsequently plummeted down the rankings, Tim Kee reemerged on the ‘United TTFA’ slate that promised to save the local game.

Tim Kee did not contest a position at last month’s TTFA election although he did give his blessing to current president, William Wallace.

Successes on the field apart, Tim Kee will be remembered fondly for bringing closure to the acrimonious 2006 World Cup bonus dispute—but, mostly, for his undeniable charisma and the firm handshake and warm smile with which he created friends and foe alike.

Photo: Ex-Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president Raymond Tim Kee (right) and his then general secretary Sheldon Phillips.
(Courtesy Wired868)

(TTFA statement)

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association extends deepest condolences and sympathy to the family of our former President Raymond Tim Kee following his passing early on the morning of Sunday 8 December 2019 at his home in Port of Spain.

Raymond was kindhearted, devoted and committed to serving his country the best way he could. His commitment, intellect, sense of humour but above all the simple and straightforward manner of relating to all of us will be a lesson always on modesty and humility.

In all situations—whether on the public stage or away from the cameras—Raymond’s passion for life and sport, moreso football and his deep desire for a better world shone through. Raymond was known throughout local arenas not just for his inspirational eloquence but for his human warmth, who showed the skills of leadership and great determination.

His charisma was remarkable and there is no doubt but he was a formative influence on those around him. He always identified with those who were less fortunate, or those experiencing hardship, no matter where they came from—and he translated this into a forceful articulation of the need for those with power to do more. He was an efficient and competent corporate man. He was a true Warrior.

Despite their grief and pain, we hope that Raymond’s family and friends can see that his work has not ended with his passing—but that instead, that his spirit will live on in the daily acts of those whose lives he touched.

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About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the managing director and chief editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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