Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Our friend, Ernie Branco, has left us

Ernie Branco, September 2013 - Marc Vasconcellos/The Enterprise
The Massachusetts Refereeing community, and the soccer community at large is saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Hernani (Ernie) Branco.

Long time Coach and National Referee Emeritus, he has been a beloved icon in the soccer community for over 40 years.

A mainstay, top referee at the Needham Memorial Day Tournament, since its inception in 1977. Ernie was lauded with the Needham Tournament Distinguished Referee award & the prestigious, Spirit of the Game Award, from the Mass. State Referee Committee an award saved for one of the highest honors a referee can be bestowed within the state.

Ernie served most recently as the MLS liaison to the New England Revolution and made sure that all referees that pass thru those doors were always well taken care of.

Words can not adequately express the loss. For me personally it is devastating as he had touched my life in so many ways as referee, coach, co-worker, friend, and just all round spectacular human being.

Universally, so many others have expressed these similar feelings through all walks in life when experienced with Ernie. Just a few of these expressions can be found in the linked stories.





We mourn his passing here and throughout the refereeing community, and send our deepest sympathies to his family.

Services for Ernie will be held Saturday, December 14th and Sunday, December 15th between the hours of 1 - 7PM at the Waitt Funeral Home, 850 North Main Street, Brockton. A funeral mass will be held Monday, December 16th at 9:00AM as St. Edith Stein Church, 71 East Main Street, Brockton.

Ernie's obituary can be found here.

Please note in lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Ernie Branco Scholarship Fund, Harbor One Bank.

If mailing a donation be sure to include "Ernie Branco Scholarship Fund" on the memo line of your check and mail to:

Harbor One Bank
Ernie Branco Scholarship Fund
P.O. Box 720
Brockton, MA 02303

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