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Tony Gonsalves pays tribute to Joe Fernandes

Tony Gonsalves

Former Bank of India footballer and referee Tony Gonsalves was shocked when he visited old friend Joe Fernandes at his home in Dhobi Talao, Marine Lines last month.

Gonsalves and Fernandes have officiated many football matches together and to see his friend in the throes of adversity -- bed-ridden and financially starved -- moved Gonsalves considerably. He took it upon himself to do something for his former colleague, and immediately dashed off a letter appealing to the Western India Football Association for financial assistance.

"One look at the family and I realised that they were in urgent need of money to cover Joe's mounting medical expenditure. "I knew WIFA would willingly help someone, who has served the game for over three decades, and I'm glad that they did. "At one time, Joe assisted me (as assistant referee). Today, I'm glad I could be of some assistance to him," said Gonsalves.

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