The Father Gough sports foundation on Sunday 9th January, 2011 inaugurated and opened an artificial football pitch named after Gambian Greatest Footballer Ever, Alhagi Modou Biri Biri Njie. The occasion was marked by having three matches played. The family and friends team versus the Father Gough academy under 12, match won by family/friends team after penalty shoot out.  Gambia High School versus St Augustine's High School, match won by Saint Augustine's High School 2-1 and final on the under 15 academy tournament between Father Academy and Baggio Academy match won by Father Gough Academy 2-1. All teams were presented with Jerseys, Footballs, Medals and Trophies.

The occasion was well attended by sporting personality and politicians and was graced by the reverend Father Joseph Gough. After the matches and speeches a plaque was unveiled naming the pitch after biri Biri. Biri gavean emotional pitch expressing is gratitude and pleasure to the father gough sports foundation and Father Gough in particular for this great gesture. He dedicated the pitch to his colleague and friends who helped on the way throughout his career. He narrated how he has played on thorny fields and mud pitches in his days and how the present generation should be grateful and treasure the facilities being provided for them. He thank the president, the people of the Gambia and all the people gathered at the occasion.

After the unveiling of the pitch, Gambian National Team captain and late coach, the first Gambian with a eufa coaching license, unveiled a plaque naming a stand at the Father Gough sports complex after him. Saihou Sarr is the first and only Gambian to both Captain the national team and also coached it. He was the first manager of the independence stadium. Saihoulike Biri is a legend in Gambian football.

Mr Bye Malleh Wadda, coordinator of the Gough sports foundation, who is alegend in his own rights, organised and supervised the whole event, which was a huge success. Mr Wadda after said that these are our heroes and we should never forget what they have done for this country and we should continue to honour and cherish their accomplishments. He expressed his delight and previledge to have witnessed this day and contribute towards making it a success.


On Wednesday 6th January 2010, the Gough Sports  Foundation again inaugurated the Sonny Alade Joiner Basketball/Volleyball courts at the Father Gough Sports Complex, in Manjai. The courts were opened by the minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Sheriff Gomez. The courts cost D1.4 Million Dalasis to build. The ocassion was attended by the director of Youth and Sports, the leaders of the Manjai Community and family members of Sonny Alade Joiner. Mr O'Reme Joiner, brother to Sonny Alade  Joiner and former Gambian International basketball player read following statement from Sonny Alade Joiner :

"I will like to take this opportunity to thank God and the Gough Foundation for giving me such an honour. May God continue to bless the good work that they are doing for the development of sports in the Gambia. My thanks and appreciation also goes to the honourable Minister for honoring this ocassion. For this honour i want to extend my gratitude and remember some of the people who trained and influenced my game and my subsequent coaching career in the Gambia. A former Peace Corps Direvtor Richard Wanush was my first basketball coach who gave me an idea of how to play the fundamentals of the game.

My skills and moves were developed and guided by ba Senegalese coach lioune Diop who helped me and the national team develop and run plays that improved the performance of the team that eventually resulted in the first Gold Medal for Gambia male basketball team during the semaine National held in Dakar in 1972. While in the United States i was fortunate to have been coached and played for coach Dean Sempart at Lewis and Clark College in Portland Oregon. He further improved on both my approach to the game and how to coach to be a winner. As a result i came home in 1976 to play and coach the first Saints basketball team which went undefeated for three consecutive years at both school and national level basketball competitions. That period of success would not have happened without the help and support of Fr. Joseph Gough who was principal of Saint Augustine's High School at the time. At this moment i want to remember the guys who helped in making me a good player and shaping my game, Saul Jarra, Saja Taal, Ousman Sabally, Donald Sock, Ebrima Jobe (Mbat), Essa Gaye, Sengan Ndow, Modou Njie (Addidas), Habibou Sillah (Nyankumo), Cherno Touray (Teacher), Felix Gomez (Daddy), Felix Ceesay, Halifa (Bimateh), Rt. Rev. Solomon Tilewa Johnson, Oreme Joiner and Dupeh joiner (Mario Dupesco). I hope and pray that some day in the future a basketball player will emerge from these courts who will accomplish great things for the game in the Gambia and the world over. Thank You and May God Bless you all, The Gough Foundation and the Gambia, Sonny Alade Joiner" 

Sonny was the first Gambian to play college basketball in the United States. He also captained Gambia many times.

Father Gough during the ocassion stated that the Gough Foundation plans to further develop the complex by putting a training pitch, spectator areas, Gym and other sporting facilities at the complex in the next few years to develop the complex into the best multi-sporting complex in the Gambia. A basketball match between Saint augustine;s vs Gambia High School was heldto mark the 80th and 50th Anniveraries of the schools. Saints won the match and the Sonny Alde Joiner trophy and medals. Both Schools were donated with basketballs.



The Father Gough Foundation on Wednesday, 18th November 2009, distributed about 150 goalkeeper gloves to the teams from Manjai, Kotu, Bakoteh, Brusubi, Kololi, Serrekunda East and West and Lamin.

The gloves are a gift from Lucas Sports in the United States. Speaking at the Occasion, the Coordinator of the Foundation, Bye Malleh Wadda expressed thanks to Dr Alfred Lucas, proprietor of Lucas Sports who donated the gloves. Mr Wadda said he was an adviser to Dr. Lucas and was involved in the design of the gloves. He said he has been working with Dr. Lucas for over 30 years. He also expressed thanks to Mr. Tijan Ceesay for facilitating the shipment of the gloves to The Gambia.

Furthermore, Mr. Wadda stated that he was a Goalkeeper from his early days in football playing for Mohamedan School and played his first International Match as a Goalkeeper for Real de Banjul in Bamako at the age of 15. He further stated that he had played Goalkeeper up to the Senior National team in 1977 without ever wearing a goalkeeper gloves. Only goalkeepers in Europe were seen wearing gloves in those days. Nowadays, it would be odd to see a goalkeeper not wearing gloves. As such, it is timely and appropriate for the Gough Foundation to secure such a gift and to distribute it to teams in The Gambia. The gloves are called Black Spider. It has a webbing between the fingers for better grip.

Mr Wadda further stated that, some of the gloves would be presented to the National Sports Council for further distribution to all regions of the Gambia, to help with development of Goalkeepers.  The ceremony was attended by the Manjai Sports Committee, players and coaches from the teams being presented with the gloves.


The Gough Foundation plans to rehabilitate the Manneh Sillah Basketball Courts in Banjul. The foundation has secured modern basketball posts for the courts, plans to rehabilitate the lighting system, rehabilitate the playing surface, rehabilitate dressing rooms/toilets and put up a modern scoreboard.  This is being done in collaboration with the mayor of Banjul and the Gambia basketball association. This is in our drive to revitalise basketball in the Banjul area.
 In a similar vein, the foundation with establish a basketball/volleyball court at the father gough sports complex in manjai kunda similar to what would be at the Manneh Sillah courts in Banjul. This we hope would give children within the manjai/Kotu/Bakoteh/Kololi area an opportunity to develop their basketball skills and establish a league within these areas.
The gough foundation solicit your support and donations towards this venture. The project should be completed by end 2009.

The gough foundation is to establish a scholarship fund at saint Augustine's high school in Banjul in the name of Father Murray. Father Murray passed away last week. He had taught chemistry at saint Augustine's high school in the 70s and 80s. Father murray has been a friend and supporter of the gough foundation. May his soul rest in peace.
 Donations are welcomed towards the fund


The gough foundation during it's launching in Atlanta, USA, has collaborated with the Gambia Christian council in the united states of America to ship medical equipment and supplies to the Gambia. During the visit of Father Gough and Bye Malleh Wadda to Atlanta during the sang Marie celebrations, a visit was made to Med share, a non-profit medical equipment supplier that send surplus medical equipment and supplies to third world countries. This would be the first shipment to the Gambia.
 The gough foundation has already donated to the Gambia Christian council, USA chapter and plans to assist the council to ship a 40 foot container of medical equipment and supplies to the Gambia.
 The health of a nation is important in it's development and we plan to add our contribution to that effect.
 Donations are welcomed from supporters and sponsors of the gough foundation. 
 Please visit our sponsors page on how to donate. 


Father Gough Gets Prestigious Award  (courtesy of

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

As Saints Alumni is launched in US
By Lamin Cham

Father Joseph Gough, the Irish priest who is credited with the most succesful education and sports development initiatives in The Gambia, has recently been visiting the USA where he presided over several importantfr._goughceremonies and meetings touching on projects established as part of his great legacy.

The main highlight of the trip was the formal inauguration of the Saint Augustine’s High School Alumni and the Gough Foundation, which took place on August 14 in Geogia Atlanta State.

The launching provided a unique and touching reunion of the teacher and his disciples who are some of the Gambia's best known sports men and scholars running his Foundation. They included Sunni A. Joiner, Mr. Bye Malleh Wadda, Mr. Lamin Faati, Mr. Yankuba Mamburay, Tijan Massaneh Ceesay and Mr. Albert Valentine among others.

The event was opened with prayers by Imam Bye Ibrahim Secka and Father Joseph A. Gough followed by remarks by the Master of Ceremonies of the program,  Sunni Joiner. In his remarks, Joiner, one of the best Gambian basketball players, ever, and the first Gambian to play college basketball in the US, praised the initiative  to bring together ex-students, current students, teachers and the Gough Foundation.Yankuba Mamburay, also a former student and teacher at Saint Augustine’s High School, praised Father Gough for the foundation he laid at SAHS. 

He presented his book, “The Search for a Lost Brother,” to Father Gough as a token of appreciation for the service he rendered to SAHS and the entire Gambian nation.  On his part Mr. Albert Valentine posited that he was a badge of 1977, one reason why he was flabbergasted by the school song that we sang at the occasion – he did not know about the song because when he was there Saints had no school song. He said he went to SAHS in 1972 and graduated in 1977. “I express my sincere gratitude to Father Gough and SAHS for helping us become men.

The next speaker at the occasion was Mr. Bye Malleh Wadda, a renowned Gambian Sportsman. He came from The Gambia to attend the occasion in his capacity as the coordinator of the Gough Foundation. Mr. Wadda discussed the various development projects the Gough Foundation has embarked on since when it was established some three years ago.The votes of thanks was given by Tijan Massaneh Ceesay. He said the following: "Fr Joseph Gough has been my mentor, my friend and my adopted Father if you will. Like me , He has been instrumental to many a lives and indeed The Gambia and its people are grateful. It is against the backdrop of the many great things He has done for our country and its people that we the Alumni have come together to compliment his efforts." The Father was presented with a prestigious award called the Momodou Baboucarr Njie award, in honour of his excellent service to the nation.








The Most Revrend Fr Joseph Anthony Gough will be the receipient of the Alhagi Momodou Baboucarr Njie , GCRG, Life time Achievement and Excellence Award for 2009. This is the first time ever that The Gambia National Christian Council in the United States is giving out this award and indeed after thorough consultation and examination of the merits, there is no better candidate to receive the award at this time.

The award is named for a great Statesman in Alhagi Momodou Baboucarr Njie who passed recently. Like Fr Gough, he was a philantropist in his own right and has also educated many future leaders of our country.

Alhagi Momodou Baboucarr Njie also is the epitomy and barometer of religious tolerance having served for well over two decades as Chief Patron and a full fledged member of the Baati Linguere Choral Group. It is because of these and many other unmentioned reasons why we have have named the award for his memory. Fittingly, Alhagi Momodou Baboucarr Njie was also a staunch supporter of the receipient during his days as Principal of St Augustine's High School.

Onbehalf of the President of The Gambia National Christian Council in the United States and the Chair of The Gambia National Christian Council in The Gambia, The Most Revrend Bishop Solomon Tilewa Johson, who serves in an advisory capacity to the GNCC, we wish to congratulate Fr Joseph A Gough for a well deaerved award. We encourage all past students to come to Sang Marie in Atlanta from August 14th to 16th for a reunion with this great man.

Gambia National Christian Council,
Miami, Florida




Gambians, friends of The Gambia and the Saints Ex-pupils residing in Metro Atlanta area are in full gear for the visit of Fr. Joseph A. Gough, Ambassador at-large for The Republic of The Gambia. A status conferred upon him by The Gambian President, Yahya Jammeh in recognition of the great work he did in The Gambia.

As a teacher and later Principal of this renowned and famed institution (Saint Augustine’s High School), Fr. Gough contributed immensely in the education of many prominent Gambians who today are recognized in many important positions worldwide. Known for his philanthropy, Fr. Gough also undoubtedly contributed to the advancement of sports and education in The Gambia and personally sponsored the continued education of some of his students.

In a continued engagement for his contribution to such efforts in The Gambia, Fr. Recently concluded phase one of the Fr. Gough Sports Complex located in Manji Kunda, in The Gambia. He is currently embarked on building two Basket Ball courts in Manji Kunda and Banjul respectively. He also pioneered the development of coaching techniques in The Gambia in areas of game plan, individual skills of athletes and sports management in general.

During his stay in The Gambia, Fr. Gough served in every Sports Association and established the International Student Exchange Programs with the Republic of Senegal for which the later conferred upon him the title of Pioneer of Senegambian Schools Exchange. Father who currently teaches at Ireland’s Premier School, Blackrock College will for the first time in over two decades, come to meet with some of his former students and those who did not have the opportunity to meet him before but happen to earn their education from the same institution.

During his Atlanta visit, Fr. Gough will attend the Friday Muslim congregation prayer at Masjid Taqwa in Greenbrier. For him attending the Muslim prayer is an indication of Catholic Church’s respect for Islam and a validation of the co-existence of the two religions especially in The Gambia. Fr. Gough is welcomed to be in attendance as the Imam of The Gambian community in Atlanta and the head Imam of the said mosque, Imam Bye- Ibrahim Secka is also an ex-student of his. This is scheduled to take place on Friday, August 14, 2009.

That very evening, the Atlanta Chapter of the SAHS Alumni is probed to hold a symposium with Fr. Gough from 6pm through 10pm at the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel, Atlanta Airport/ Millennium Center located on 2301 Sullivan Road, College Park, GA 30337. During this time, Father will have the opportunity to meet the entire SAHS Alumni, their friends and families. Some other surprising guests will be in attendance, be them ex-pupils or teachers. The Atlanta Chapter will also be conduction a formal registration of SAHS Ex-pupils to kick start the SAHS Alumni in diasporas that is been long talked about. Contributions to that entity will be expected during the event. Fr. Gough will also do a radio interview on African Experience Worldwide, visit the Martin Luther King Center and try to honor as much invitations as possible.

On Saturday August 15th, 2009 Fr. Gough will receive The Gambia National Christian Council’s lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his great contribution to Gambian Education and Sports. Fr. Gough will also be a concelebrant at the Mass commemorating the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, an annual celebration for Christians in Diaspora which will also be the highlight of his visit. In addition to his already busy schedule, Fr. Gough is expected to visit the Headquarters of Med Share International, an Atlanta International Organization that assist third world countries with state of the art medical equipments. His visit is to support, as Gambian Ambassador-at-large, an approved request made for a consignment of medical equipments for The Gambia that was made possible through the President of The Gambia National Christian Council in the United States, Mr. Sunny Alade Joiner and his organization.

Fr. Gough was also a recipient of the National Order of The Republic of The Gambia (ORG) in 2005. His Atlanta visit according to one former student will be “one emotional moment that will bring back many memories that binds us with this great man……. There is no person like Gough, he is our father. This man made us men.”

Ousman Manjang
Class of 79/80

Visiting St. Mary's priest earns national honors for his missionary work
Published: Monday, July 27, 2009

GLENS FALLS - Each summer, members of St. Mary's Parish delight at the return of Father Joseph Gough. The quick-witted pastor, educator, missionary and noted sportsman - complete with his thick Irish accent - keeps Mass light-hearted yet meaningful.

Many honors have been bestowed on Gough in recent years; however, not for his work done here in Glens Falls, nor in his homeland of Ireland; but rather in The Republic of Gambia, West Africa -- the fourth smallest country in the world.

Gough's missionary work in The Gambia began in 1972, where he was director of St. Michael's Junior Seminary in Banjul, the capital of The Gambia. As a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, his job was to promote vocations to the priesthood in a country predominantly Muslim. Gough said that three of the country's seven tribes lean toward Christianity, yet only 3 percent of The Gambia's population of 1.7 million is Catholic.

"There are very good relations between Christians and Muslims in The Gambia. The last president and current president were educated at Catholic schools - it is proof that Christians and Muslims can coexist," Gough said.

Irish missionaries have a close relationship with Gambia as they are the only Catholic missionaries in the country.

"We are also known as The Spiritans; The Spiritans are the only ones in The Gambia - we are responsible for that country," Gough said.

While teaching at the seminary, Gough also taught English and religious studies at St. Augustine's High School, a Catholic mission school in Banjul.

As time passed, Gough earned the love and respect of the local population and, in 1978, Gough assumed the position of principal of St. Augustine's High School. During his six years as principal, Gough said St. Augustine's became the dominant high school in Gambia, both academically and athletically.

"It was regarded as the best school academically and in various sports. I was instrumental in bringing it to that level - I worked very hard there," Gough said.

A sports fan -- soccer in particular -- Gough reached out to his parish in Ireland, calling for donations of lightly used equipment and eventually formed a number of sports teams at St. Augustine's High School, including soccer, volleyball and basketball teams. He also helped develop the country's elite soccer teams by taking students under his wing and developing them into soccer players. He managed three of the country's top eight teams.

Much to his dismay, Gough was called away from The Gambia in 1983 after suffering a loss in his family. He returned to Ireland and a year later resumed his education at Fordham University, in New York, where he earned his masters degree in religious education.

Since 1985, Gough has been splitting time between Ireland, where he teaches English and religious studies at Blackrock College in Dublin; Glens Falls, where he is a visiting priest in June, July and August; and The Gambia, where he continues to play a major role in organizing the country's top division soccer teams.

Many of Gough's former students have assumed prominent positions in government both in Gambia and in the U.S., and have ensured that Gough be properly recognized for his influence on their home country.

In 2004, Gough was awarded the National Order of The Gambia by the country's president, Jammeh. In January, he was made an honorary citizen of the Republic of The Gambia by President Jammeh and, at the same ceremony, he was given the title of "Goodwill Ambassador of The Gambia" and given a diplomatic passport.

During the same visit, he was named honorary citizen of Banjul by its major.

"I am somewhat of a folk hero there," Gough joked.

Seven of Gough's former students of St. Michael's Junior Seminary have gone on to become priests and many of the student's lives he touched at St. Augustine's High School won't forget his name.

In August, at a ceremony to be held in Atlanta, a group of about 150 of Gough's former students from St. Augustine's living in the U.S. along with the governing body of The Gambia National Christian Council will honor Gough with a Lifetime Achievement award for his far-reaching impact on faith, education and sports in Gambia.

Gough remains household name in Africa and his imprint on The Gambia everlasting. His name presides on a brand new sports complex just outside of Banjul, in Manjai, Gamiba. The creation of the complex was spearheaded by his former students, who also formed the Gough Foundation in his name.

Each year, Gough donates $5,000 to the Catholic Bishop in Gambia, which helps educate priests there. A portion of the donation also goes to the Gough Foundation. Gough said the donation is made possible thanks to the people of St. Mary's parish, who donate to Gough's work in The Gambia.

"I want the people of Glens Falls to know that my honors were made possible by their donations, and I am very appreciative of the people of Glens Falls and St. Mary's parish and school," Gough said, noting that a fundraiser organized by SMSA principal Kate Fowler and teacher Mary Gregorio raised $1,000 that was used to educate 21 children from The Gambia that couldn't otherwise afford an education.

At the end of August, after his annual going away party organized by Barbara Nichols, Gough will return to Ireland and resume his teaching at Blackrock College, only to return to Glens Falls next June. Anyone who wishes to donate to the Gough Foundation should visit

7th January 2009

(click on photo to enlarge)

The President on Wednesday 7th January received Father Gough at State House. He Appointed him Ambassador At Large for Gambia Sports with full diplomatic status. He also pledged D100,000.00 to the Gough Foundation.

Results of Football Tournament Held on 3rd and 4th January 2009

  • Eight a side football match, Under 12s Match between Family and Friends team vs Gough Academy results tied 3-3. Family & Friends won 3-2 penalty shoot-out. Team given Alkali's trophy and medals.

  • Gough Academy won under 15 six a side football vs Balajo Academy. Gough Academy won 3-2 penalties. Team given trophy and medals.

  • Daragi Academy won the under 17 tournament beating Loek Holland Academy 2-0. Team given trophy and medals.

  • Armed Forces Veterans team won the veterans match vs Manjai Veterans 2-1. Team won Bye Malleh Wadda trophy and medals.


January 2009

Official Opening of the Father Gough Sports Complex

(click on photo to enlarge)

To be held on 4th January 2009. Fr Gough is due in  Banjul from 28th December to 7th January 09 and he will do the official opening of the first phase of the sports complex together with the Mayor of KMC and Mayor Banjul.

Bai Malleh Wadda Trophy

Veterans tournament comprising of veterans from the GFA League to be played at the Fr Gough Sports complex on the 3rd and 4th January 2009. This will be a 6 a side football tournament.

Tournament of Academies ( Under-17)

To be played on the 3rd and 4th January at the Fr Gough sports complex. The tournament will be 6 a side football tournament.

Winners of both tournaments will be awarded with trophies and medals.


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Bai Malleh Interviewed by Gamsportsonline




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