Home / Volley / Global Football / ‘Humble’, ‘gentleman’, ‘red Eric’, ‘complicit’, ‘likeable’, ‘victim’… T&T football remembers ‘Ollie’

‘Humble’, ‘gentleman’, ‘red Eric’, ‘complicit’, ‘likeable’, ‘victim’… T&T football remembers ‘Ollie’

Oliver Camps, Trinidad and Tobago’s longest serving football president, died this morning at the age of 87.

Camps was president of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) and the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) from 1992 to 2012—almost always alongside his special advisor and then FIFA vice president Jack Warner. He also served as manager to the memorable National Teams who competed at the 1973 and 1989 World Cup qualifying tournaments.

A few of the men who knew ‘Ollie’ shared a word with Wired868 on the former administrator:

Photo: Former TTFF president Oliver Camps.
(Copyright Annalicia Caruth/Wired868)

Mr Camps, as the manager of the Strike Squad under my captaincy, brought commitment and dedication to all under his leadership. He made sure every player understood the importance of representing the country to their best at all times.

His principled stance was respect must always be at the forefront of everything. In other words, you give it, then it must be returned to you.

KFC Munch Pack

I am very saddened by his passing and I am sure the other members of the Strike Squad would be too. May he RIP.

Clayton Morris, Strike Squad captain and National Futsal Team head coach

Really sad news to hear. Mr Camps gave so much of his time to the game of football. My deepest condolences go out to his family.

Anton Corneal, TTFA technical director and World Cup 2006 assistant coach

Photo: Then Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team manager Oliver Camps (far right) poses with the 1989 Strike Squad.

Ollie most certainly made a tremendous contribution to football and sport in general in Trinidad and Tobago.

His contribution spanned more than six decades. As a sportsman, he was a footballer, cricketer and participated in other sporting disciplines. As an administrator, he served tirelessly and was president of the Harvard Club.

Ollie served as manager of the National Football Team and later as President of the TTFA, then the TTFF.

His was a life lived to the fullest, enjoying all the fun-filled hallmarks of the true Trinidadian spirit. His faith was well vested in God, displaying the values of his spiritual beliefs.

On behalf of the members of VFFOTT, I wish to extend thanks to his family for allowing him the time to pursue his longstanding dedication to sport—football in particular—and we must be grateful to them for his many years serving the nation.

May his soul Rest In Peace.

Selby Browne, Veteran Footballers Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago (VFFOTT) president

Its terrible news. My sincere and heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones. He loved football and dedicated a huge part of his life to it. May he rest in peace.

Kelvin Jack, 2006 World Cup player

Photo: Then TTFF president Oliver Camps (right), FIFA president Sepp Blatter (centre) and 2010 LOC deputy CEO Nataki Kerr.
(Courtesy TTFA)

He was complicit and at times fundamental in the oppression of many a Trinbagonian football player. Does his passing excuse that? No it doesn’t.

My sympathies with the players and their families who he helped oppress.

David Nakhid, ex-National Senior Team captain and Grasshopper and New England Revolution midfielder

I knew Ollie from a when I was a 12 year old boy at Harvard Sports Club where he was president. Dealt with him as a sportswriter in his capacity as football manager to president of TTFA.

Always true to what he was about. He was not nicknamed ‘Red Eric’ without reason. RIP, my friend.

Valentino Singh, ex-Trinidad Guardian sport editor and biographer for former FIFA VP Jack Warner

Photo: Then TTFF president Oliver Camps (centre) poses with national standout Russell Latapy (left) and team manager David Muhammad.
(Copyright Annalicia Caruth/Wired868)

Oliver Camps was a very humble, decent and easy-going man. As vice chairman of the World Cup Organising committee in 1989 and manager of the 2006 World Cup team, I had the pleasure of sharing many discussions and conversations with Ollie.

He was always pleasant, positive and encouraging. He was loved by all whose lives he touched in different ways.

His honest and trusting nature may have caused him to become embroiled in some unfortunate disputes, but we all have our weaknesses. In my humble view, Ollie always did things with a good heart and in the best interests of football and all its stakeholders.

It was very sad for me to see him in his last few years become such a broken person because of the faith and trust that he had in his fellow human beings.

His life was well lived in my estimation. He had a heart of gold and I am proud to be able to call him a friend. RIP Ollie.

Bruce Aanensen, World Cup 2006 team manager and ex-WICB CEO

Oliver Camps was a genuine lover of sport in general but football in particular. He was indeed a true servant of the game he loved up to his passing.

Ollie’s entire life was spent as a member of Harvard Sports Club which he served as its President for several terms. He also held the position of Manager of our Senior National team who pursued World Cup qualification in 1974 and 1990. Reports from players of both teams indicate that he had their confidence and was a well loved manager who always fought for the welfare of his players.

Ollie’s listening ear and sincerity as a person will be sorely missed by many in and out of sports.

I, on behalf of my family, extend our condolences to his family and many friends and wish that his soul rests in peace.

Raymond Tim Kee, former TTFA president and vice-president under Camps

Photo: Former TTFA president Oliver Camps.

On behalf of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association and the local footballing fraternity, I express my sincere sympathy and condolences for the loss of Oliver Camps, a past president of the local governing body for football.

Mr Camps was a gentleman and longstanding servant to football whose career spanned over four decades from his time as a manager of our senior men’s team during the 1974 and 1990 World Cup qualifying campaigns to his tenure as president which began in 1992. Our thoughts and prayers  go out to the Camps family.

David John-Williams, TTFA president

No one could doubt Oliver Camps’ dedication to Trinidad and Tobago football over many years. And he was associated with the all of our most memorable episodes and successes in one capacity or another.

On the human level , he was very likeable—a gentleman and easy to relate to and to talk to. He loved his football, his dancing and his liming.

But in the end he fell victim to a failure to pay attention to his responsibilities. He suffered for that.

Whatever one’s opinion of that failing, he dedicated much of his adult life to our sport, evidently without much benefit to himself. We need to respect that.

Keith Look Loy, Trinidad and Tobago Super League (TTSL) president and former TTFA technical director

My sincerest condolences to a dear good friend of mine. He had a heart of gold! A decent and respectable man who always had a nice word to say about people. May he rest in eternal peace

Lincoln “Tiger” Phillips, former TTFF technical director and Trinidad and Tobago National Team standout

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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  1. So I guess that uncle Jack will definitely be attending his funeral after speaking so highly about him eh Them really good yes

  2. On the life of Camps, Warner said, “Camps was the greatest manager this country has ever seen, and possibly would ever see. Equally he was also the greatest president. When one looks at the shambles that football is in today, one can only grieve at the passing of Ollie Camps because the legacy he left in football has been destroyed. May his soul rest in peace.”

  3. I work with him for a number of years and his question always rampa everything ok my answer yes Mr CAMPS and he will leave with a smile A GENTLEMAN AND A GOALKEEPER R.I.P

  4. To honor this man and his sterling contribution to football a sporting scholarship bearing his name should be created to give the desired recipient an opportunity to pursue studies in sports management or any related discipline

  5. Condolences to all his family and loved-ones!

  6. Rest in peace olli may god have mercy.