Trinidad & Tobago International Marathon

Tribute to a Sporting Icon, Tony Harford

Anthony ‘Tony’ Ignatius Emmanuel Harford passed in his sleep early on Friday 3rd December 2021 following months of challenges with his health. Having known Tony from different arenas, I remember him conducting his charitable Bingo games helping many to raise funds for their cause and never charging for his services. In the 1990s in the midst of my sport management career, and when I co-ordinated the opening ceremony of the 1991 Carifta Games hosted by the NAAA and held at the Haseley Crawford Stadium, the rain fell heaverly and Tony would simply say to me “Diane, not to worry, breathe, everything would be fine.” This resonated with me, whatever he said was believable, and from that day forward I always had faith that all would be well.

Tony was not only a versed radio announcer as we are all aware, known for his smooth voice and expert master of ceremonies role, which he executed at the House of Angostura on many an occasion. Tony was also a sporting enthusiast of great proportions, having been a one-time marathoner when he completed the TTIM in 7hrs 45 secs in 2005 at the age of 51, to which he was very proud of. As far as I could remember, Tony took a personal interest in the Trinidad and Tobago Marathon from the early days. In the 1980s and 90s he featured the TT Road Runners Club and other running clubs on his radio program promoting distance running, like the Tinactin 10K and encouraging the fraternity. It was through All Sport Promotions he produced video coverage of the T&T International Marathon (TTIM) on several occasions building its profile and making it what it was and is today, an international brand. In recent years Tony and the TT Marathon Committee (TTMC) partnered once again bringing it to the forefront of the minds of the running fraternity and securing sponsorships in support of its objectives.

Francis Williams-Smith, Race Director of the TTIM remembers Tony as a Fatima boy who was in class with his younger brother, David Williams-Smith and many of their friends who also happened to be Francis’s friends, he too being a Fatima boy. In his capacity as a media person, Tony reached out to Francis and assisted him through the media to promote distance running. He learnt the ropes and so was able to target the various media outlets when promoting an event. This proved invaluable from then till now. They reconnected within the umbrella of the TTIM, an event Tony always admired. Adding his banter at any committee meeting always enlightening the moment making it easy for us to have productive and successful communication. Alas, as Tony returned, he gave it his all as a co-producer of the event, till the pandemic in March 2020 leaving a piece of his heart with us.

As we celebrate 40 years of the TTIM race’s existence in 2022, Tony will be honored for his contributions to the distance running arena. We extend condolences to his family, friends and associates from the TTMC, Francis and Diane and may he forever sleep in peace.

—Diane Henderson, President, Trinidad and Tobago Marathon Committee