The Barbados Football Association (BFA) has lost a stalwart and friend in former president Lisle Austin.
Austin, 85, of Hoyte’s Village, St James, passed away on Sunday.
BFA president Randy Harris said Austin’s passing was a great loss to the sport, both in Barbados and the Caribbean, as he conveyed his condolences.
“He had a real passion for the game. He really made a contribution to Barbados football He would always be remembered for his jovial spirit. I was his general secretary at one time, and he was someone I knew had a passion for football and had his heart in the game,” he said.
Harris said he knew Austin for a long time as the former senior vice president of Concacaf was Harris’ father’s best friend from their school days at Harrison College.
“There was never a time that you were in his company, and it would not be a happy occasion. He had a bubbly personality and had a knack for making everybody laugh and be happy, and he was always ready to hear a good joke. I remember that fondly about him, and we had some good times together,” he recalled.
Austin was a former president of Notre Dames and manager of the Caribbean All Stars Football Club, and served as the BFA’s general secretary in the late 1970s, before taking up the reins as president.
In 1978, the veteran administrator and a team of regional football administrators established the Caribbean Football Union (CFU). He also helped form the Bajan Super Stars professional team, which saw local footballers being paid to play for the first time.
The father of five also served for many years as chairman of Concacaf’s technical committee, where he contributed to the organization and development of football regionally and the appointment of referees and their assistants. He also served on FIFA’s referees, club championship, and futsal committees for well over a decade.
Then in 2010, Austin was conferred with the Order of Merit at the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, becoming the only Caribbean administrator to have been bestowed with the prestigious award, for his significant contribution to the development of association football.
He was also honored that same year at the BFA’s 100th anniversary gala at the Crane Beach Resort that same year.
Austin is survived by his wife Eugene, son Curtis, and four daughters – Angela, Dawn, Charmaine, and Genie.
The President, Board, management, and staff of the BFA, and by extension the football fraternity extend condolences to Austin's family at this time.