Thu | May 23, 2019

Chung-Fah’s undying love

Published:Sunday | November 18, 2018 | 12:00 AMTony Becca
Winston Chung-Fah received the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander for outstanding contribution to the development of Jamaica's football programme at the National Honours and Awards Ceremony on Monday, October 21, 2013.

Some of the greatest or most successful visionaries in sport throughout the world were not successful players in their young days and definitely not great players.

They were, however, players of a reasonable standard, young men who loved the game they played, and who loved it with a passion.

One such young man was Winston Chung-Fah, who attended the now-defunct Windsor High School, located next door to the north of Sabina Park, who organised a football team at the school, who kept goal for the team in the Facey Cup competition, and who died in Florida on Thursday, November 9.

His schoolmates included the late George Lee - former mayor of Portmore; the late Karl Dalhouse - former head of the YMCA; the late Lloyd Becca - Anglican priest and dean of Eastern Jamaica and who was 'little Becs' to Chung-Fah; and the late Winston 'Dirks' Campbell - a former FIFA referee.




He was a pugnacious goalkeeper, his passion for the game was contagious, and he was, according to many, one of the favourite students of founder and headmistress Mrs E. Ranger-Jones.

Chung-Fah loved football. He loved Brazilian football. He admired Santos Football Club and home club of Pele. He worshipped Pele, and when he decided to form a football club, he named it Santos.

The colours of the club were, and still are, the green and gold of Brazil.

He did not stop there. His first set of players, from the socially less-privileged class, included players who played with the flair of Brazilians.

Two of his lieutenants were Jackie Bell and Denis Ziadie, two former St George's College players, two former national players, and two players who also loved Brazilian football.

One of them, left-winger Ziadie, played like a Brazilian, and the two players died in a motor vehicle accident minutes after watching Brazil play in a World Cup match in Mexico in 1986.

Chung-Fah also once owned a restaurant. It was named International, and almost every needy footballer ate there, almost all of them for free.

'Chungie', however, will be remembered not so much as a benefactor of footballers or as Jamaica's technical director of football, but as a football coach, with his most memorable assignment being the coach of Clarendon College's football team, a team that won the daCosta Cup and the Olivier Shield in 1977 and in 1978 and which paraded such players as Lennie 'Teacher' Hyde - one of the country's finest players and coaches - and Dennis 'Den Den' Hutchinson.

The stories of his days at Clarendon College are many, and they will be forever etched in the history of that institution and in the memory of Jamaicans.

For those things he will never, ever be forgotten, especially by Jamaicans who love football, and youth football at that.

Years and years from now, however, he may be remembered for something far greater, for starting something that lifted Jamaica's football to once-unbelievable heights.

Chung-Fah was a man who believed in youth, a man who believed, quite rightly, that the greatest player started as a little boy, most times a poor little boy, and one who fought for the development of youth football in Jamaica for many, many years.

Chung-Fah, who will be buried in Florida on December 8, was an early supporter of women's football in Jamaica and was appropriately honoured with FIFA's Order of Merit and also with the Order of Distinction, Commander Class.