Captain Horace Burrell, long-serving president of the Jamaica Football Federation, has died. He was 67.
Burrell died in the United States where he was being treated for cancer.
A former member of the Jamaica Defence Force’s air wing, Burrell was largely responsible for Jamaica’s soccer team, the Reggae Boyz, qualifying for the 1998 World Cup in France.
The brash Burrell acquired the services of Brazilian Rene Simoes as coach and recruited several British players of Jamaican heritage to the team in 1997. Along with quality homegrown players, the Reggae Boyz became the first team from the English-speaking Caribbean to qualify for soccer’s biggest tournament.
Burrell was first elected JFF head in 1994. But for a brief period when he was voted out in the early 2000s, he oversaw Jamaica’s soccer program, seeing the Reggae Boyz to Caribbean titles and international recognition.
He was also a respected businessman. Burrell operated The Captain’s Bakery and Grill and Captain’s Aviation Services.