Former footballer Ricky Gongora inducted into the Belize American and Caribbean Football Hall of Fame
Posted: Saturday, December 25, 2021. 7:11 a.m. CST.
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Retired football striker Enrique ‘Ricky Gongora who played football in the’ 80s and ’90s has been inducted Belizean American Caribbean Association Football Hall of Fame.
Gongora, who was simply known as Ricky in her heyday, was inducted into the New York-based Belizean American Caribbean Football Hall of Fame in September 2017, but just received her award on Sunday, December 12, during her trip to New York.
Gongora received a plaque and certificate signed by Belizean American Caribbean Association President Wellington Ramos. Other laureates received their distinction on September 10, 2017 at Gershwin Park in Brooklyn, New York.
“It’s a good thing because you put all that time into the sport and you go there like that, no recognition left behind, no one knows who you are after you leave. At least now people can go somewhere and find information about who you are because your name is there, ”Gongora said.
“I think they do a good job because they don’t just recognize the players. They also recognize other people who have contributed to the sport, ”she said.
Gongora played football before the sport turned semi-professional in 1991 and after.
Gongora, who was known for his powerful left foot, played for the Berger Field area teams and won at least 13 championships, he said.
He also played internationally at the Concacaf level with Verdes and was also called up to the first Belize national football team that played against Canada. But his soul was Shepherd.
“My team was from the same base only that they changed their name. I started with Berger, then I went to Chito’s, the Witz All-Stars, Belikin, Duurlys, then Duurlys Belikin, then Acros. I played my last season with Yabra, ”said Ricky.
Prior to playing for the Berger teams, Gongora played for the Lake Independence Junior Club for two seasons starting at the age of 14 in 1974. What is strange is that he played as a defenseman. , and it was only after joining Berger that he played as a striker. He said it was because there was nobody reading the play and giving him the ball, so he played defense so he could build plays and came up the field to score.
In 1976, when he was 16, he moved to Berger and played until 2006, when he was 46.
When he hung up his boots, it was for good. He said that at this level and at this age, no one would take care of a player who has broken his bones.
Gongora played with a host of well-known players at the time such as Jumping Jack Sutherland, Gene Guild, Wayne ‘Horsie’ Cooper, Larry ‘Charro’ Bennett, Anthony ‘Garrincha’ Adderley, Arturo ‘Turo’ Azueta, Arthur ‘Goatman’ Leslie, Kent ‘Gigante’ Skeet, Fabian Rivero, Benedict Lopez, David ‘Manu’ McCaulay, Earl ‘Seven Ton’ Jones, Kenrick ‘Crane’ Major, Arthur ‘Mob’ Flowers, to name a few.
“These guys look alike, they look like they don’t want to get old,” Ricky joked.
He also remembered Al Westby, Wellington Ramos, Gregsie Jones, Nolberto Moss and Enrique Carballo from his days with Chito. He said he played with the Orange Walk Chitos and Belize City Chito’s until the association established the rule that if you play in one district you cannot play in another district. .
For now, Ricky, 61, is a retired footballer.
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