The Gambia Football Federation GFF leads the way in paying glowing tribute to Alfred Blell, a businessman and great sport enthusiast and former treasurer of the then Gambia Football Association GFA, who died last week. He was 69.
Commonly known as Freddy, he was the father of Anthony and Adrian Blell. A successful hotelier and entrepreneur who left a lasting impact on The Gambia. He owned three well-known and thriving hotels in the country and also ventured into several other businesses, such as imports, exports and agriculture. Despite his diverse interests, Alfred was a humble and private person, who preferred to keep a low profile.
Beyond his successful career, Alfred was also a kind and generous philanthropist, who helped many people and organisations in need. He never sought recognition for his good deeds and always sought to remain anonymous. His commitment to giving back to his community was truly admirable and made a lasting difference in the lives of many.
Alfred was not only a successful businessman and philanthropist, but was also a loving father, brother, son, uncle, and friend to all who knew him. His generosity extended beyond his professional life and was felt by those closest to him. He was a mentor and role model to many people and provided guidance and support to help them achieve their goals.
Alfred Blell Jr will be remembered as a remarkable person who left a significant impact on The Gambia and its people. His legacy will continue to inspire future generations and all that he left behind.
Alfred’s love, kindness and generosity will never ever be forgotten.
Blell was the vice president of Young Africans Football Club, formerly called the Celtics and since joining the team in the 1970s, he served as the longest tenured official, supporting the team financially and transforming it into a formidable and renowned football club in Gambian football.
He was fondly remembered for his passionate drive and motivation behind Young Africans success in the 1980s which include a memorable victory over Real de Banjul in 1982.
According to the GFF, Freddy was an adviser and supporter to the famous Roots FC, a school football club that captured the admiration of many Gambians.
Mr. Blell was described as a good man known for his calmness, openness and love for football.
Remembering one of his biggest source of inspiration as a young journalist and football commentator, Gambian veteran sports journalist Tijan Masanneh Ceesay described Freddy as a big brother and a great friend. “As a young journalist and football commentator, Freddy encouraged me and pushed me to be the best I can be. I saw him every week at his office downtown Banjul by CFAO. He took a keen interest in my development and encouraged me with passion. In a nutshell, he was all you ask for in a human being. He was a big brother and a great friend,” Mr. Ceesay said.
Freddy will be remembered in Gambia’s football history not only as an administrator but a great example of a football enthusiast for the younger generation.
Fred also financed Steve Biko FC in the early 1990s.