“Shocked, saddened, a great loss for Antigua and Barbuda” are some of the sentiments used to describe the loss of Gordon “Banks” Derrick, who died suddenly on Sunday night, June 19, in the United States.
Derrick, 53, was a former General Secretary of the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) and former President of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU). Reportedly, he had complained about feeling unwell, then later collapsed at his Florida home, and subsequently died.
The local airwaves were flooded with calls today, June 20, as residents expressed their sympathies to his family and close friends and gave testimonials about how Derrick had assisted them in their careers.
Cricketing legend Sir Vivian Richards was one of many who called to express shock and pay tribute to Derrick, who was well-known in the sporting community. Sir Viv said he woke up to the sad news and, at the time, was still in disbelief.
Also expressing shock and sadness at the news, Prime Minister Gaston Browne said he and Derrick had represented the “Antigua State College in soccer and were teammates on one of the most successful ASC soccer teams to date.”
In spite of being “political opponents for a number of years,” Browne said, they remained friends.
Sean Bird, the United Progressive Party (UPP) Candidate for St. John’s Rural East, was Derrick’s classmate at the St. Joseph’s Academy. News of the death shocked and deeply saddened him, as well.
Derrick, who grew up in Villa, was married and the father of two. He is the brother of former UPP politician Colin Derrick, and his sister, Sandra Derrick, designed costumes for Xtreme, a Mas’ troupe that “Banks” was instrumental in organizing.
Derrick once served as a Director of the Antigua Commercial Bank (now ACB Caribbean) and later as Chairman of ACB Mortgage and Trust Company, a subsidiary company of the bank. Further, he served a term on the Antigua Port Authority board, from 2011 – 2014.
Well known in the arts and culture circles, Derrick chaired the Independence Celebrations Committee in 2004 and the Party Monarch Sub-committee of the Antigua Carnival Committee from 2006 to 2008.
An events promoter, he was represented by the letter “D” in the organization DSC Promotions.
In 2017, Derrick migrated to Orlando, Florida, and formed a consultancy, JINAZ LLC, that specializes in marketing, real-estate investing, entertainment and transportation.
The Leadership and Executive of the UPP express their sincere condolences to Derrick’s widow, Wendy; his children; his siblings; and other relatives and friends. May his soul sleep in peace.