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By Neto Baptiste

The Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) has been charged with planning and executing the funeral service for former technical director, Rolston “Debu” Williams.

This was revealed by president of the organisation, Everton “Batow” Gonsalves, who said the former player’s family has asked the FA to take charge the lead on designing his final farewell.

“We have not set a date yet for Mr Williams’ funeral, but I am proud to announce that the family has asked the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association to take conduct of preparing the ceremony and all the other matters that go with that, and we would have graciously agreed. This is a first for us but having seen what the government and other organisations and associations when persons who would have provided meritorious service, then we aim to at least mimic if not surpass what they would have done,” he said. 

According to Gonsalves, Williams’ family members are set to arrive in Antigua within days but said a committee has been put in place to plan the event.

“We have constituted a committee and the committee will be meeting again on Monday when the family arrives from overseas to get their instructions as to how we proceed and then we will move swiftly into planning that. We are looking at two venues in either the Sir Vivian Richards stadium or the Antigua Recreation Grounds where he laboured in the vineyard for many years and so I think that would be a befitting place but the decision will come as early as Monday,” the former striker said. 

Williams died just a little over a week ago at the Mount St John’s Medical Center. Reports are that Williams complained of numbness in his legs just two days before his death and was admitted to the hospital.

Gonsalves heralded Williams for his contribution to the game and its development.

“He was passionate and he was committed to the ABFA and he was an advocate for the continuous development of the game throughout the length and breadth of this country. We are getting ready in November, that being the month of Independence, to inaugurate our headquarters at Paynters. That is another first for the ABFA because I don’t think any other country has headquarters and even if they do then it is not as splendid as the ABFA’s headquarters. And so all will be afforded the opportunity to be part of that event whilst adhering to the protocols that I am sure will still be with us during November,” he said.

Williams would have served as head coach of the senior national football team back in 2004 and 2012 during the Caribbean Football Union’s (CFU) Caribbean Cup Championship.

He also led Parham to back to back Premier Division titles in 2001/2 and 2002/3. Parham also won in 2010/11 and 2014/15 under his tutelage.

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