SJAG mourns the departing of a Baron

Apr 8, 2020, 1:18 PM

The Sports Journalist Association of the Gambia (SJAG) is saddened by the sudden passing away of Alh Ousman OB Conateh, former President of the Gambia Football Association and Founding father of Wallidan FC.

Fisco, as he was fondly called, was born November 1st, 1937 in Banjul, The Gambia. A household name in The Gambia and around the sub-region, he was a young and energetic smart boy who will later become an icon in Gambian football.  He attended St. Augustine’s High School and had a professional training in merchandise, marketing and entrepreneurship at the United Africa Company (UAC) in Lagos, Nigeria, where he was later made the manager of Kingsway Supermarket, one of the subsidiaries of UAC.

He was also the Administrative Manager of The Gambia Fisheries Ltd and the owner and Chief Executive Officer of the National Partnership Enterprises (NPE) Sea Food Processing Company and owner and chairman of O.B. Trawlers Agency.

His unflinching efforts in raising football in The Gambia during his stint as its president was reciprocated when he was bestowed with the rare reverence of the honorary life presidency of the national football governing body at a 2001 Congress and remains so until his death over the weekend. Fisco never played football though but has always been a keen admirer and in 1969, through one of his many philanthropic gestures, founded what is regarded as one of the most successful stories in Gambian football, the birth of Wallidan Football Club. Alh Ousman Conateh previously served as the President of the then Gambia Football Association from 1993 until his retirement in 2001 following the completion of term.

Fisco would go down in history as a father figure, pioneer and mentor to many Gambian greats amongst them Alhagie Njie Biri and Jato Ceesay.

A baron of sports and football in particular, an athlete during his youthful days and later a seasoned administrator par excellence, he was a devastating cricketer and an ex-national cycling champion. A true entrepreneur in all definitions, the former legend has done so much for the development of sports, particularly football in The Gambia and beyond and has impacted positively on the lives of many.

A close friend and supporter of the Sports press. He would be remembered for attending and identifying many beneficiaries and awardees.

The founding father of Gambia’s most successful football club, Wallidan, Fisco has won several awards in and outside of the country. In 1986, he was decorated with the prestigious honor of the Insignia of Member of the Republic of The Gambia (MRG); Officer of the National Order of the Republic of Cote d’ Ivoire in 1995; inducted into the Hall of Fame as National Cycling Champion, International Cricketer.

For the outstanding contribution to the development of youth and sport in 1999; he also won the Millennium Award for Excellence by The Gambia National Olympic Committee in 2000 and in 2001, he was honored with the Achievement Award for Excellence by The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Insignia of the National Order of the Republic of The Gambia (ORG). In 2007, he was made Commander of the National Order of the Republic of Cote d’ Ivoire.

On January 4 2020, the late Alh OB was decorated by the Gambia Football Federation with a Life Time Achievement Award at its first ever Football Recognition Night. Fisco has also been awarded and recognized by the Sports Journalist Association of the Gambia, SJAG, for his leadership and efforts in the development of sports and for his friendship and support. Credited for his selfless services to not only Football but lives, livelihood and entrepreneurship, the late Fisco will ever be remembered by the Gambia, Africa and the world at large.

The former NPE Chief Executive was also in December 2019 decorated by the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) with a Lifetime Achievement award reposed on him as one of the country’s eldest and respected men of repute and philanthropy in both social and entrepreneurship. Until his death over the weekend, the late OB Conateh was the Chairman of the GFF Legends Identification Committee.

The late OB Conateh was up to the time of his death the Honorary President of the GFF.

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