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Remembering Buddy Brillantes

Parents have been invited to share their memories of one of InterSoccer’s best-loved coaches.

Buddy Brillantes was a star trainer who taught thousands of children over the years. He sadly passed away in June after a short illness.

Buddy was enormously loved and admired by parents, children, coaches and other colleagues, and was famous for his sense of humour and love for life.

His former wife and good friend, Christina, said: “Buddy was a people person, and easily and quickly connected with people of all ages and backgrounds. They always remembered him.  He had a special affinity with children, because he loved to make them laugh, and he just connected with them so easily. He got down to their level, and I think that’s why they responded to him so much – he was a child at heart. It brought him such joy to see them laugh.”

Buddy joined InterSoccer as a coach in 2004 when his daughter Tiffany began coming to summer camps at the age of 12 – despite admitting he had no knowledge of football.

“Buddy knew nothing whatsoever about European football – only American football,” explained Christina. “He got involved with football solely because Tiffany started playing. He was, however, a natural sportsman – he was an excellent skier, tennis player, snooker and pool player, baseball player – he was a Yankees fan – and basketball player.  He loved sports of all kinds – he would always watch sports events on TV and knew what was going on in lots of different sports.”

Tiffany later became a coach for InterSoccer. Her passion for football remains undimmed to this day.  She recently spent 10 months playing football for FC Almassora women’s team, near Valencia, Spain. Christina said: “When Tiffany was born, she became Buddy’s enduring greatest passion, and his biggest achievement.  He was so proud of her. He went to almost every single one of her matches!”

Buddy was originally from the Philippines and came to Switzerland at the age of 16 when his father was posted here as an ambassador.  He graduated from the College du Leman in Versoix in 1969.  He worked in the finance world for 25 years, before reinventing himself as a language teacher teaching both English and French.

Buddy loved to play guitar, especially James Taylor songs, and to dance – Kool and the Gang was one of his favourite bands.  He was also an accomplished cook;  he completed hotel school in Luxembourg and obtained his restaurant licence from Geneva cantonal authorities in 1984.

He is survived by Tiffany, Christina and his brother Sal in Geneva, and by three brothers and four sisters in the US, and extended family in the US and the Philippines.

In lieu of flowers, his family has asked for donations to Terre des Hommes in memory of Hortencio III Buddy Brillantes. The family chose the Swiss-based charity because they work to make children’s lives better around the world.

“I think Buddy will be best remembered for his kindness, laughter and his cheerful and positive approach to life,” added Christina. “As Tiffany said at his funeral, her Dad believed you should never miss an opportunity to make people happy. That was him in a nutshell. I know he’s still around us and watching over us.”

InterSoccer CEO Steve Long said: “Everyone who ever came into contact with Buddy at InterSoccer has happy memories of him. He was a real hit with children and parents. Every year we would have requests for him to teach in specific places.

“Our thoughts are with his family.”

Anyone who would like to share memories of Buddy is invited to post them on the InterSoccer Facebook page, or send a private message to info@intersoccer.ch and we will pass them onto his family.

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