Frederick “Fred” Ballantyne, the patriarch of a renowned Vincentian sporting family, and co-founder and long-standing president of the Brooklyn-based New York Caribbean Soccer Cup, died at a care center in East Brunswick, NJ, on Wednesday, Jan. 27. He was 87.
Ballantyne’s eldest son, Raymond “Bally” Ballantyne, a former stout defender in the St. Vincent and the Grenadines National Football (Soccer) Team, told Caribbean Life that his father, who moved from Brooklyn last April to be under his direct care in New Brunswick, had multiple medical complications.
The Ballantynes are formerly from Frenches, Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Fred Ballantyne, a former cricketer, weightlifter and national body builder in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, headed the Caribbean Soccer Cup from 1993 to 2018, Raymond Ballantyne said.
Fred Ballantyne’s wife, Gloria, who, along with their daughter, Joanne, predeceased him, expired months apart in 2019.
Gloria Ballantyne was a national netballer, manager and administrator, and Joanne was a national netball star.
The Ballantynes eldest daughter, Jacintha, was a national track star.
Jacintha’s other siblings – Bob, Orde and Junior (Midge) – also represented St. Vincent and the Grenadines in table tennis, track and field, and soccer, respectively.
Stanley “Luxie” Morris – a St. Vincent and the Grenadines sports ambassador, who captained the national soccer team and was head coach for Team St. Vincent and the Grenadines in Brooklyn’s Caribbean Soccer Cup — said Fred Ballantyne was “a very astute president.
“He was very intentional and deliberate with consistency in all his dealings with the various clubs (in the Caribbean Soccer Cup), and was always re-elected as president,” said Morris in his special tribute offered exclusively to Caribbean Life.
He said the Central Brooklyn Soccer League (CBSL), the Caribbean Soccer Cup’s forerunner, “thrived” under Ballantyne’s leadership.
“And while some may have even questioned his leadership, as tantamount to a dictatorship, I differed and equated it as being hands on,” said Morris, a former CBSL vice president.
“But although CBSL became the most competitive league around, from 1984 to 1990, the bottom line was taking a beating,” he added.
So, in 1991, Morris said CBSL’s Board of Directors decided “to try something new” in forming the Caribbean Soccer Cup, alongside CBSL, with Ballantyne at the helm.
“Fred was the glue which helped the Caribbean Cup after the demise of CBSL in 2012,” the sports ambassador said. “Nothing, absolutely nothing, happened without Fred’s approval.
“Admittedly, as early as 2014, Fred confided in me that he was tired and wished to leave,” he added. “But his concern was that if I were elevated, there would be chaos.
“I was a constant at his residence on Clarendon (Road in Brooklyn), and we had many late-night conversations about the status of the league and its longevity when he would have moved on,” Morris continued.
He said Ballantyne had provided material and other support when he invited players from St. Vincent and the Grenadines to participate in the Caribbean Soccer Cup.
Morris said he and other Caribbean Soccer Cup officials, such as Frank and Junior Nicholas, and P.O. Tyrone, journeyed last Sunday to New Brunswick to pay their last respects “to our fallen friend and also to support my central defender-partner/stalwart defender, Raymond.”
Ballantyne’s body was viewed on Sunday at the Old Bridge Funeral Home in New Brunswick.
The funeral home subsequently cremated his body, said Raymond Ballantyne, disclosing that the family is planning a memorial service for his dad in Brooklyn at a date yet to be decided.
“My father had a full life,” he said. “Daddy enjoyed his life. The old man achieved a whole lot.
“He saw his children grow up and his grand children (some) grow up,” Raymond added.
“Fred, will always be remembered by me,” Morris said. “May Fred’s soul rest in peace, perpetually!”