The 2022 Trinidad and Tobago International Marathon (TTIM) will be staged in honour of deceased sportscaster and sports administrator Anthony Harford. The announcement was made by T&T Marathon Committee (TTMC) chair Diane Henderson in a media release, issued shortly after Harford's passing, on Friday.
"Anthony 'Tony' Ignatius Emmanuel Harford passed in his sleep early on Friday December 3, 2021 following months of challenges with his health. Tony was not only a versed radio announcer as we are all aware, known for his smooth voice and expert master of ceremonies role.
"Tony was also a sporting enthusiast of great proportions, not only having played cricket in his junior years, but also was a one-time marathoner when he completed the TTIM in 7hrs 45 secs in 2005 at the age of 51, which he was very proud of."
Henderson recounted Harford's involvement with the T&T Marathon.
"As far as I could remember, Tony took a personal interest in the Trinidad and Tobago Marathon from the early days. In the 1980s and 90s he featured the T&T Road Runners Club and other running clubs on his radio programme promoting distance running, like the Tinactin 10K and encouraging the fraternity.
"It was through All Sport Promotions he produced video coverage of the T&T International Marathon (TTIM) on several occasions, building its profile and making it what it was and is today, an international brand. In recent years Tony and the T&T Marathon Committee partnered once again, bringing it to the forefront of the minds of the running fraternity and securing sponsorships in support of its objectives."
Henderson described Harford as a "pleasant and affable human being".
"His banter at any committee meeting always lightened the day making it easy for us to have productive and successful communication. Having known Tony from different arenas, I remember him conducting his charitable Bingo games helping many to raise funds for their cause and never charging for his services.
"In 1991, when I coordinated the opening ceremony of the Carifta Games hosted by the NAAATT (National Association of Athletics Administrations of T&T) and held at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, the rain fell heavily and Tony would simply say to me, 'Diane, not to worry, breathe, everything would be fine'. From that day forward I always had faith that all would be well."
Henderson said Harford's passing is a great loss.
"Tony will surely be missed in many circles as his versatility has shown. The TTIM 2022 will be held in his honour as we celebrate 40 years of the race's existence. Condolences to his sister, Abbi De Souza, family, friends and associates and may he forever sleep in peace."
The NAAATT also paid tribute to Harford.
"NAAATT joins with the rest of the sporting community in mourning the passing of Anthony Harford," newly-elected president George Comissiong said in a media release. "Tony as he was more affectionately called was a true friend to the Association, always willing to assist when called upon.
"He served as Event Promoter and Marketing Manager of the 2003 Carifta Games that was held at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, which proved to be a resounding success. His template for the Games has been used for subsequent regional meets in our country. Based on the success of the 2003 Carifta Games, Trinidad and Tobago won bids for both the 2005 Carifta Games, held at Dwight Yorke Stadium and the 2006 Central American & Caribbean (CAC) Junior Championships, held at the Hasely Crawford Stadium."On multiple occasions, Harford served as Master of Ceremonies at the NAAATT's annual awards function.
"Each time refusing compensation," Comissiong revealed, "saying 'I won't charge for my voice'. He also assisted in establishing what has become an annual charter flight to the Carifta Games by sharing his knowledge of the airline industry and leveraging on his extensive network of contacts. Tony was a true benefactor to our association.
"We extend condolences to his family and friends in this period of bereavement," the NAAATT release ended. "May he rest in peace."s.