'Consie' remembered as a selfless human soul

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — The late track and field coach Constantine 'Consie' Haughton, who passed away on Friday after a battle with prostate cancer, has been hailed as "legend" and a selfless person by those who knew him.

Haughton, who was in his late 60s and who was involved in the sport for almost 40 years, coached at Vere Technical for 23 of those years, and up to just before he was hospitalised, was a fixture at track and field meets all over the island.


His passing has come as a shock to many.


He started his career at Spanish Town Secondary where he discovered Bertland Cameron, staying there between 1974 and 1976 before moving to Clarendon College were he had two stints (1977-80) and (1984 to 86) where he also coached the likes of Sandy Richards, one of Jamaica's best female 400m runners of all times.


Haughton moved to the University of the West Indies for the 1981-83 seasons before going to Vere Technical in 1987.


His illness had limited his ability to travel, but his influence extended far beyond the shores of Jamaica.


Haughton was recognised by the USA-based organisation Team Jamaica Bickle at their post-Penn Relays awards ceremony where a citation was read by Minister without Portfolio with responsibility for Sports Natalie Neita-Headley.


Cameron, who won Jamaica's only men's 400m gold at the IAAF World Championships in 2003 in Sweden, had taken the news of Haughton's passing hard.


"Consie was never selfish and he always wanted the best for the athlete," Cameron said. "When he asked me if I wanted to go to St Jago I thought 'this man is crazy' but he knew what he saw in me and did not want that to go to waste," Cameron recalled.


The former athlete, now a coach himself, said Haughton never tried to take any credit for moving him from Spanish Town Secondary to St Jago and never spoke of it in public.


"I heard he was sick, but I did not want to go see him in his condition as I wanted to remember him as I last saw him at a track meet working," Cameron said.


— PAUL REID


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