Retired teacher and missionary, Father Joseph Gough, has announced his decision to leave Gambia for his native Ireland on Tuesday due to Ill health. Gough worked in The Gambia from 1972 to 1983 and has been regularly visiting the country since 2000.
In a farewell message sent to Observer Sports, Father Gough, who has contributed immensely to the development of sports in The Gambia, said he is sad to say good bye to this country but he has to act under the directives of his doctor who recommended for him to look for a permanent nursing care, and it is against this backdrop that he is returning home.
In announcing this decision, Father Gough said he is "very sad, indeed heartbroken to leave my beloved Gambia, which will always have a special place in my heart. I would take this opportunity to say goodbye and farewell to The Gambian people whom I love so well. I enjoyed my 12 years of working here from 1972-1983 and the recent visits to the Gambia since 2000".
He went further to assure that he will continue to fund as many of his projects as possible in the future through the Gough Foundation. Amongst the biggest works undertaken by the Gough Foundation are the education of Gambian priests, education for as many as possible young Gambian boys and girls through scholarship, the building of a church -Blessed Sacrament Church in Kanifing, contribution to the building and refurbishment of many schools, and contribution to the growth of many vegetable gardens.
He also made provision for sports complexes at the Father Gough Sports Complex in Manjai Kunda, the Manneh Sillah Basketball court-Banjul, St. Augustine Senior Secondary School-artificial soccer field, basketball and volleyball courts, contributes annually to the President Jammeh Foundation for Peace, contributes to the Mayor of Banjul Scholarship Fund, contributes to St. Augustine Sports Programme, contributes to Young African Football Club and Annual Awards Dinner.
The Catholic father added that he would like to thank in a special way, His Excellency The President, Sheikh Professor Dr. Ajhagie Yaya A.J.J. Jammeh, for the many honours bestowed on him as follows:
•National Order of The Gambia (Honorary)
•Honorary Citizenship of The Gambia
•Honorary Ambassador for The Gambia
•Contribution to The Gough Foundation
•The Provision of a Home in AU Villas, Brufut
He also used the opportunity to thank The Mayors of Kanifing and Banjul for their honorary citizenship of both cities. "I will never forget The Gambia and its President and Government. You are all special to me and I will always remember you in my prayers," he concluded.