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'Chungie' eulogised as 'miracle worker'

BY HG HELPS
Editor-at-Large
helpsh@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

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MIAMI, Florida — Legendary former football coach Winston Chung Fah was eulogised here last Saturday as a “miracle worker” and exceptional human being who had the ability to establish and maintain long-lasting friendships.

A service of thanksgiving for 'A Life Well Lived', according to the programme, saw over 1,000 people in the 782-seat St Louis Catholic Church in Pinecrest.

Chung Fah, also a former restaurant operator and top insurance salesman, died on November 8 in this populous United States city, following a lengthy period of illness. He was 78. The urn that was prominently displayed in the church was testimony of his wish to have his body cremated.

Close friend of 70 years Professor Basil “Bagga” Wilson, with tears at the end saturating the words “I will miss the best friend I ever had”, also eulogised the Clarendon-born, East Kingston-raised Chung Fah as one who was blessed with “an enormous amount of energy and an extraordinary passion for life.

“As a former YMCA goalkeeper, he tackled his tasks with success. He had a thirst for knowledge for understanding football, which led him to establish Santos Football Club,” said Professor Wilson, a retired Provost of John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York and former Kingston College Manning Cup footballer and Sunlight Cup cricketer.

“He studied long and hard, the profession he had undertaken, and was not terrified of new challenges. His life was impactful — a charismatic figure, and when he entered a room the lights got brighter and the laughter more uncontrollable,” Professor Wilson went on.

Remembered for engineering Clarendon College's historic victory in the 1977 rural zone daCosta Cup schoolboy football competition, and the all-island Olivier Shield which followed, Chung Fah also coached Vere Technical High School, Campion College, The University of the West Indies, the Jamaica Under 19 (Juvenile) squad and was technical director of the Jamaica Football Federation from 1991 to 1993. He was also the first coach of the Jamaica Women's team.

He also spent several years coaching in the Cayman Islands at the club and national levels.

Officiating priest, Rev Alex Lam, suggested to the congregation that “Chungie”, as he was popularly known, was just going through “a simple change of address”.

“Winston understood the necessity of life — a gentle and kind man who was always ready to help others. He did not have a religious vocabulary but he had religious impulses. Throughout his life he was spirited. His was a life that was well lived, that served many. He has left a clearly marked train for all of us to follow,” Rev Lam stated of the man who ran the popular Miami Classics for young players from 1982 to 1995.

Among those who participated in the festivities were Jamaica's Court of Appeal President Dennis Morrison, QC; former Jamaica and West Indies cricketer Michael Holding; medical practitioner and horse racing official Dr Paul Wright; prominent Florida-based doctors Wayne Fraser and Ivor Nugent; former Jamaica College outstanding football team captain Martin Woodstock; lawyers Howard Malcolm, Everton Bailey and Wayne Golding; Lorna Bell, widow of another former Santos FC coach; broadcaster Donna Chin; former national footballers Allie McNab, Patrick Chin, Carl Brown, Rennie Phillips, Richard Domville, Bancroft Gordon, Anthony Corbett and Dennis Barnett; businessmen Audley Hewett and Winston Ulett; and disgraced former president of the Cayman Islands Football Association and the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football Jeff Webb.

Chung Fah was a recipient of Fifa's highest honour, the Order of Merit, and was invested with the Order of Distinction (Commander Class) by the Government of Jamaica in 2013 for his distinguished service to football.

Another memorial service for his life will be held on Saturday, December 15 at Holy Trinity Cathedral, North Street, starting at 10:00 am. After the service there will be exhibition football matches involving some of the teams that he coached and others that he was fond of, at nearby Winchester Park, St George's College, starting at noon.

Chung Fah is survived by wife Barbara; daughters Sharon, April, Michelle, and Teisha; four grandchildren and three brothers.

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