Attorney and businessman Lionel Welch, who has been ailing for some time, died in Los Angeles, California, on Sunday, shortly after 3:00 p.m.
Welch had been receiving treatment in Los Angeles since last October for prostate cancer, which, according to attorney Marilyn Williams, the former Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) Director who is now working out of his office, has spread to his spine.
After completing his legal studies at the Norman Manley Law School, in Jamaica, Welch returned to Belize to begin his legal practice. He was called to the Belize Bar on December 18, 1980.
Apart from his work as an attorney, Welch was also an avid football player in his youth.
In later years he supported the sport by serving on the executive of the Belize City Football Association as its vice chairman. He also served as an advisor to the Football Federation of Belize, up to the time of his death.
In addition to his work as an executive in the football associations of Belize, Welch also sponsored his own team, FC Belize, which won a couple championships under his ownership and which placed second in the Premier League of Belize earlier this month.
The executive of the Premier League of Belize said in a press release today, “This is a great loss to the football community in Belize, as Mr. Welch has contributed significantly to the sport.”
Marvin Ottley, former coach of FC Belize, told KREM News today that Welch was the founding member of FC Belize and a committed and competitive owner.
Compounding the family’s grief is that just four hours after Welch’s passing, his ailing mother, Ms. Emma Cattouse, passed away at her Belize City home. The elderly woman has, for years, been suffering from a heart condition and had to undergo heart bypass surgery early last year.