Late Chung Fah hailed as ‘more than a coach’

Daily Observer (Jamaica) - - SPORT -

WIN­STON Chung Fah was hailed as “more than a coach” by one of his for­mer mentees after news emerged that the Ja­maica foot­ball icon died yes­ter­day at age 78 at his home in the Cay­man Is­lands.

Chung Fah, who for a num­ber of years has been stricken by numer­ous ill­nesses, in­clud­ing di­a­betes and heart and kid­ney prob­lems, founded San­tos Foot­ball Club in Ja­maica in 1964.

He was coach of the fa­mous 1977 Claren­don Col­lege team, re­garded by some to be the best-ever school­boy foot­ball side in Ja­maica’s his­tory. Chung Fah had also coached the Ja­maica se­nior women’s team.

“He was more than a coach,” said Den­nis “Den Den” Hutchin­son, who was an im­por­tant cog in the all-con­quer­ing 1977 Claren­don team.

“Some­times ‘Chungy’ gave team talks and you got so emo­tional that you didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. He gave jokes to paint a par­tic­u­lar pic­ture when he wanted to get across cer­tain points to us. He was loved by ev­ery­one,” Hutchin­son told the Ja­maica Ob­server yes­ter­day.

“I first met him play­ing against his team in a [youth com­pe­ti­tion in Kingston] as a young­ster. But lit­tle did I know I would be a key player in his Claren­don team that cap­tured the [ru­ral area] dacosta Cup and [all-is­land] Olivier Shield in 1977.

“We had a lot of di­ver­sity, play­ers of dif­fer­ent so­cial back­grounds and he had to put that to­gether. He was in­stru­men­tal in get­ting those per­son­al­i­ties into one pack­age. That was a great body of work,” he re­called.

Hutchin­son added: “We feel ter­ri­ble [he is dead], but it is just a re­al­ity in life we have to deal with. I’m glad I was able to present him a Life­time Achieve­ment award in 2015 for his con­tri­bu­tion to the sport in Claren­don and in Ja­maica.”

Yes­ter­day af­ter­noon, the Ja­maica Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion [JFF] is­sued a state­ment say­ing it was “deeply sad­dened by the pass­ing of a leg­end of Ja­maica’s foot­ball and a great hu­man be­ing”.

Ac­cord­ing to the state­ment, JFF Pres­i­dent Michael Rick­etts said Chung Fah had “pro­found knowl­edge of the sport, was a true foot­ball his­to­rian, a stu­dent of the game [and was an in­di­vid­ual] with a truly big heart.

Rick­etts added: “I am deeply sad­dened and I of­fer on be­half of the fed­er­a­tion con­do­lences to his wife Bar­bara and his three daugh­ters.”

Ja­maica’s Or­der of Dis­tinc­tion was be­stowed on Chung Fah in 2013 for his con­tri­bu­tion to the coun­try’s foot­ball.

HUTCHIN­SON... I’m glad I was able to present him a Life­time Achieve­ment award in 2015

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