Former national footballer to jumpstart players fund initiative

Referee Vanroy Burns (center) suffered a stroke three weeks ago and there have been pleas for financial and other support. (File photo)
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By Neto Baptiste

Steveroy Anthony, a former national and Empire defender, said he has been motivated by recent events surrounding the sudden illness of football referee and cricket umpire Vanroy Burns and will be moving ahead with plans to form a past players fraternity with the main aim of assisting former players who have fallen on hard times due to illness or other reasons.

“I’ve had it in my thoughts all along, but after the situation with Vanroy Burnes I decided to bring it out and I’ve spoken to a few of the past players and it would be something like a medical fund or a help out fund for the past players. So, in the event that anything happened and we may not be able to offer 100 percent funding but at least meet you somewhere around the corner,” he said.

Reports indicated that Burns suffered a stroke some three weeks ago and was hospitalized for some time. There have been public pleas for financial support and otherwise for the popular sporting figure who has given over 40 years to officiating.

According to Anthony, he has already spoken to a number of influential past players who are all on board with the initiative.

“I spoke to Pretty Boy [Derrick Edwards], Garry [Garfield Gonsalves] and Peter Quinn so we are going to have a meeting on Tuesday to decide how the platform is going to be. We [players] are going to decide even if it’s a $5 per week or a $10 per month or whatsoever but it’s just something for in case someone may have to travel and we could meet the family, maybe, half the way, then so be it,” he said.

Anthony stressed that interested persons are invited to next Tuesday’s meeting slated for the Antigua Recreation Grounds at 4:30 pm.

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