Cricket aficionado, PJ Patterson, has hailed recently deceased business mogul Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart for lending a helping hand when the sport needed it the most.
Stewart died on Monday, at the age of 79, after ailing for some time. The businessman, who was noted for founding the Sandal International group of hotels and ATL Automotive company, had a long and historic record of supporting local and regional sports. Through the now defunct Air Jamaica airline, the entrepreneur sponsored the Jamaica football team in the lead up to their historic qualification for the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
His association with cricket, particularly through the Sandals brand, was, however, longstanding and well-known.
The hotel group sponsored the West Indies cricket tour of the UK in 1995 and then again in 2000 along with Carib, the Trinidad beer company. Most recently, the company became the West Indies title sponsor in 2018 but Patterson focused on the importance of the earlier deals.
“He did not omit to appreciate the importance of cricket to the Caribbean. Very much as the sugar industry had done in the past by supporting cricket on their estates, Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart stepped to the plate when the West Indies Cricket Board badly needed a sponsor,” Patterson said.