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Ex-Warriors manager, Braithwaite, passes away in San Fernando

Former Trinidad and Tobago National Senior football team manager Richard Braithwaite passed away today at about 12.30 pm at the San Fernando General Hospital.

His family has not released a statement on his death but Braithwaite, who was believed to be about 60, was known to have been dogged by health issues for decades. His funeral will be held on Thursday January 22 from 9 am at the St Patrick RC Church on Picton Street, Newtown and thence to the Crematorium at Long Circular Road, St James.

Photo: Former Trinidad and Tobago national senior football team manager Richard Braithwaite.
Photo: Former Trinidad and Tobago national senior football team manager Richard Braithwaite.

On January 4, news broke that Braithwaite had been admitted at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Port of Spain General Hospital. His condition seemed to improve rapidly and he left ICU within three days before then moving to West Shore Medical Hospital.

A guest to the affable administrator and Strategic Communication consultant said he was in good spirits and smiled at the positive messages from well wishers.

However, Braithwaite never made it home and eventually passed away at the San Fernando General on January 17.

Braithwaite has over 25 years’ experience as a consultant in Community Relations, Social Marketing and Corporate Communications, particularly in the energy sector, and contributed two chapters in the recently published book “From Oil to Gas and Beyond.”

However, sport was his passion.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago striker Jerren Nixon (centre) tussles with Costa Rican players Mauricio Wright (left) and Jafet Soto during the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal. Trinidad and Tobago won 2-1 for one of its most memorable triumphs during Richard Braithwaite's term as team manager. (Copyright AFP 2015/Hector Mata)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago striker Jerren Nixon (centre) tussles with Costa Rican players Mauricio Wright (left) and Jafet Soto during the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal.
Trinidad and Tobago won 2-1 for one of its most memorable triumphs during Richard Braithwaite’s term as team manager.
(Copyright AFP 2015/Hector Mata)

Braithwaite was the National Senior Team football manager between the years of 1996 and 2000 and 2004 and 2005. He also served on the FIFA Technical Development Committee from 2001 to 2006 and was presented with a Prime Ministerial award in 1998 for his contribution to the development of sport in Trinidad and Tobago.

His uncle, Conrad Braithwaite, played defence for Trinidad and Tobago during the 1950s and coached the national team for its first ever World Cup qualifying campaign in 1965. His team included former football icons like Bobby Sookram, Alvin Corneal, Sedly Joseph and Lincoln Phillips.

Two years later, the elder Braithwaite etched his name in history when he led Trinidad and Tobago to a stunning 1-0 victory over Argentina in the 1967 Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Canada.

Braithwaite’s own role in football was almost entirely as an administrator as, in the 1980s, he helped steer formidable Petrotrin and Trintoc outfits that employed several future 1989 “Strike Squad” players including Clayton Morris, Russel Latapy, Leonson Lewis and Brian Williams.

He came to international prominence himself as the less visible partner of Bertille St Clair’s two National Senior Team coaching stints between 1996 and 2000 and 2004 and 2005.

Photo: Coach Bertille St Clair (second from right) has a word with (from right) Shaka Hislop, Stern John, Michael Maurice, David Nakhid, Leslie Fitzpatrick and Clayton Ince during his stint with the Trinidad and Tobago National Senior team. (Copyright AFP 2015)
Photo: Coach Bertille St Clair (second from right) has a word with (from right) Shaka Hislop, Stern John, Michael Maurice, David Nakhid, Leslie Fitzpatrick and Clayton Ince during his stint with the Trinidad and Tobago National Senior team.
(Copyright AFP 2015)

During that time, Trinidad and Tobago won two Caribbean Cup titles and achieved its highest ever Gold Cup placing of defeated semi-finalist in 2000. St Clair and Braithwaite also steered the “Soca Warriors” into the final qualifying round of the 2006 World Cup campaign where they were replaced by Dutchman Leo Beenhakker and his staff.

Neither St Clair nor Braithwaite were ever acknowledged for their roles in Trinidad and Tobago’s historic World Cup campaign—among other things the duo engineered the crucial returns to international duty of stalwarts Dwight Yorke, Shaka Hislop and David Nakhid—although every player used over the two year qualifying period was financially rewarded for his effort.

The list of Soca Warriors who made their international debuts under St Clair and Braithwaite includes: 2006 World Cup players Shaka Hislop, Brent Sancho, Kelvin Jack, Densill Theobald and Ian Cox, former overseas-based players Keyeno Thomas, Hector Sam, Brent Rahim, Reynold Carrington and the late Mickey Trotman as well as current National Under-20 coach Derek King and retired playmaker Kerwin “Hardest” Jemmott.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago goalkeepers Kelvin Jack (left) and Shaka Hislop during the 2006 World Cup.
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago goalkeepers Kelvin Jack (left) and Shaka Hislop during the 2006 World Cup.

Braithwaite also wrote a column on social issues and politics for the Trinidad Express newspaper and, more recently, Wired868.

On 1 January 2015, Braithwaite called Wired868 to share not only New Year’s tidings but his thrill at the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee’s (TTOC) Alex B Chapman award for St Clair, two days earlier. He offered to write a column on St Clair’s contribution to football, which was gleefully accepted.

It would be, Braithwaite said, his first column on football in years and he promised to submit it by Saturday. Unfortunately, fate had other plans for him that weekend.

Braithwaite’s passing will be mourned by not only his family and friends but also those who knew him and his work in the energy and sporting sectors.

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and 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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93 comments

  1. A truly blessed Trini with a passion for his country and his love of soccer (Football). I have had the pleasure to help Richard when the National team traveled to California and I honored to have worked with him and Coach St. Clair. Though, he may not have left us on his terms, he represented sweet TnT to the best of his ability, on his terms, respecting his country, administration, players, supporters, his family and most of all himself.

    RIP Mr. Richard Braithwaite…You earned my respect and admiration and for that I THANK YOU!!!

  2. A true patriot has passed, at a time when our nation most needs his kind. Gone too soon.
    God’s blessings to Paula, Cherisse, Chantal and all the family at this very difficult time.
    Rest in peace my friend.

  3. A genuine, dedicated, patriotic and good spirited soul, RIP Ritchie Rich!!

  4. Condolences . May he rest in peace

  5. worker from cute kids rest in the arns of jesus

  6. Funeral is 9am Thursday, at St Patrick’s Church, Newtown, POS…

  7. Condolences to his loved ones….R.I.P sir…

  8. my sympathy to paula and daughters and siblings braitwaite rest in peace

  9. So long Richard . Thank you for all your good work.

  10. Richard left a positive legacy at Trintoc, Petrotrin, in Communications and in Sport. The ‘umpire’ called and we are left to mourn a passionate communicator. Sympathy to Paula his daughters and siblings.

  11. Rest in peace, Mr Braithwaite.

  12. My sympathies to his family and loss to the football family his contribution will always be remembered by the citizens of this twin island state.
    May his soul rest in peace.

  13. From God we came; to God we all shall return.

    Braf was a good man. He applied himself fully to ensure his country, profession, family and mentors excelled.

    I shall miss my chum.

    We are all poorer by his untimely passing.

    Sincerest condolences to his family.

    He was a titan.

  14. The football fraternity is all the more worst for wear at his passing….

  15. So sad to hear. Condolences. We are losing a lot of stalwarts in recent times…..

  16. Condolences. ..to manage family. …rip my friend

  17. R.I.P. Richard Braithwaite.

  18. A good man. Was the Manager of the T&T U-20, U-23 and Senior teams when I played. R.I.P sir.

  19. Sad to hear of a great loss….condolences to the entire family….Be blessed, be strong.

  20. Condolences to his family and friends

  21. Hmmm RIP my friend. Anyone can advise on the date of the funeral?

  22. R.I.P. Condolences to the family

  23. Condolences to all his family n loved ones.

  24. Blessed soul…..RIP soldier.

  25. rest in peace man condolences to your family

  26. RIP to a great man and manager. Condolences to his family.

  27. What this is one if the nicest person I have worked with. A man with a big heart. Love you Mr. Braithwaite.

  28. A truly committed citizen and gentleman. Condolences to his family and may he RIP.

  29. My condolence to the family RIP Mr Braithwaite

  30. R.I.P Mr Braithwaite, condolences to the family

  31. Thankful for his contributions to our country. Condolences to his relatives and family. May his soul rest in peace!

  32. Condolences to his family, the sporting fraternity and the Texaco family. He touched many lives and will be greatly missed.