By Tijan Masanneh Ceesay
Thank God for John Gomez (Pa MU Ndow) for heaven is a happier place today. I know for a fact that Fr. Gough is by St. Peters gate with a heavenly pair of football boots waiting for his star.
Wow, unbelievable, this giant of a person, Pa Mu Ndow is no more. Heaven has gained and the world has lost one of its finest people. Growing up, he was my guardian angel for all the troubles I made. He stood up for me especially at camps with the national team where almost everyone wanted a piece of me. He’d tell me to sit in his corner and I did and he always had my back.
That was him, he never wanted to see a kid cry and would step up and do whatever to prevent it. I can safely say, Pa Mu Ndow probably stood up for me over a thousand times if you knew me growing up as he used to remind me, “DEGARR BOPA TEH RAGAL.” Pa was an angel to many.
As an athlete, he was the closest to Bai Malleh Wadda for he excelled in every sport for his school, St.
Augustine’s High School where he was also school captain. He was also one of the youngest internationals in Gambian history having suited up for our national team in Accra in 1977. He loved his Real De Banjul and if I can recall a tense argument between him and his dear Fr. Gough for not joining Young Africans over Real.
Even the brothers, the late President of Young Africans Manu Gomez and Pa Louis Gomez could not convince him to join Young Africans, thats how loyal he was. Dedication and loyalty is what measures a person and I can emphatically say, this Jambarr we are bidding farewell was just that. He was a man of few words but I can tell you, Ebou Ndure and Louis Thorpe had a way to get him going especially when it came to Real and Young Africans, the only time he was not my angel. For him, loosing to Louis and I was serious business and Ebou Ndure was always the perfect instigator so I knew my place.
As for the famous Roots Football Club, he was the founder and first coach but never claimed it because of humility. Today, many are who they are because of the leadership of Pa Mu Ndow Gomez as a big brother, mentor, coach or friend. He never shied away from the truth and would give it without notice and a borrae move where necessary. Thank you for the memories Pa, many are called but few are chosen, and indeed, the way you lived your life, you were chosen. Thanks for standing up for me and many young people. Aunty Vero can’t wait. Sleep tight big brother, and for the crew, Dingareh Sports Shop, Roots Football Club, The Gambia national team you represented with so much honor and joy, I say, Mbahel dal adi lav be mos Gomez. Sleep tight in paradise till we meet again.