Football chief ‘devastated’ by murder of national player
Head of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation, Venold Coombs, says that the football fraternity is devastated by last Saturday’s murder of national footballer Roy “Chicken” Richards.
Richards, 33, died in hospital in Kingstown after an unknown assailant shot him in his hometown, Barrouallie, on Saturday.
Another resident of the Central Leeward town, Daniel “Bogan” Hepburn, a 78-year-old businessman, died at the scene after being shot in the same incident sometime around 9 p.m.
“This is another sad day for our sport,” Coombs said, adding, “Another relatively young man taken out in the prime of his life; it is really sad. I cannot find words to describe my feeling. This has left me devastated.”
Richards, a gangly defender who held forth at either, left, right or central defence, first donned the national colours as a 24-year-old and had an intermittent run at the senior national level over the next nine years.
His last outing was against the USA in 2018 Russia World Cup Qualifiers at the Arnos Vale Paying Field in September 2016.
Coombs described Richards as a committed footballer who, despite not being blessed with the greatest of talent, was prepared to work hard to improve his game.
“As a national defender he would not be remembered as an outstanding player like for instance Cornie Huggins, Tweety Spence, Ezra Hendrickson or “Bally” (Raymond Ballantyne) who are household names, but he gave it his all whenever he was on the field, regardless of the type of match,” Coombs said.
He said that while the circumstances surrounding Richards’ death are still unclear, there appears to be no suggestion of him being involved in anything unlawful at the time of his being shot and this was a good thing.
Coombs said that the SVGFF extends deepest condolences to the family of Richards and Hepburn and will make every effort to assist, where possible, with Richards’ funeral.
Richards, at the time of his death, was a member of the BESCO Pastures Club on the local scene and, along with several other Vincentians, was a member of the Barbados-based Rendezvous FC.