Fri | Jun 5, 2020

Final farewell - Some leading sports personalities who died in 2018

Published:Friday | December 28, 2018 | 12:00 AMAkino Ming/Staff Reporter
Les Brown
Bunny Grant
Cora Ricketts
Winston Chung-Fah (seated)
Pat Anderson

Several prominent members of the local sporting community died this year. The Gleaner remembers their contributions to Jamaica and the wider sporting world.

PATRICK ANDERSON, former president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association and Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), died on April 10. He was 84 years old.

A training camp for junior athletes was started under his leadership and it helped to produce the likes of Olympic medallists Usain Bolt, Melaine Walker, Sherone Simpson, Kerron Stewart and several others who were regular members at these weekend camps at G.C. Foster College.

CORA RICKETS, former second vice president of Netball Jamaica, died on July 15. Ricketts served local netball Jamaica for more than over 40 years in various capacities. She was the manager for the Sunshine Girls, Under 21 and Under 16 teams.

BEN FRANCIS, the former Vere Technical High School, died on October 19 at age 94.

Francis served high school sports for a long time and was immortalised by the Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association when they named the rural area Under 19 KO football competition after him.

It was during his tenure at Vere that the school enjoyed its most successful period in athletics, football and cricket. In athletics the school produced international stars such as Marlene Ottey, Deon Hemmings, Beverley McDonald, Veronica Campbell-Brown and Aleen Bailey.

GEORGE 'BUNNY' GRANT, a former Commonwealth lightweight boxing champion, died on November 1 at age 78.

Grant was one of Jamaica's best boxers in the 1960s and 70s. He won the Jamaican lightweight, the Central American light welterweight, Latin American junior welterweight and the Commonwealth lightweight titles.

He competed for the World Boxing Association world welterweight title against American Eddie Perkins and also the World Boxing Council light welterweight title.

He fought 72 times and had a record of 52 wins, 14 of which came in knockouts. He was 78 years old.

LESBURN 'LES' BROWN a Boys' Town stalwart, passed away on November 3 at the age of 70. A dedicated sportsman, Brown played football and cricket for Boys' Town. He represented Jamaica Youth Cricket team in 1966 and toured Barbados and Guyana. He was a left hand batsman and left arm bowler.

He also attended Vere Technical High in the 1960s, where he participated in football and cricket. He was the cricket captain at Vere when they won the Headley Cup cricket competition and was a member of the All-Headley Cup Team.

It was in football that he left his legacy. Brown played for Jamaica and became a pioneer in playing professionally in the USA.

WINSTON CHUNG FAH noted football coach and administrator, died on November 8 at the age of 78. Chung Fah formed the Santos Football Club in Jamaica in the 1960s and he was coach of the legendary 1977 Clarendon College football team which won the daCosta Cup and Olivier Shield.

For his contribution to Jamaica's football, Chung Fah was conferred with Jamaica's Order of Distinction in 2013.

DIONNE ROSE-HENLEY died on December 24 at age 49 after a battle with cancer.

Rose-Henley finished fifth in the 100m hurdles at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, USA, and repeated that same feat a year later at the IAAF World Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden, where she also represented the country in the long jump. At the Barcelona Games in 1992, a young Rose-Henley made the semi-finals of the sprint hurdles as Jamaica for the first time spread their wings beyond just the sprint events.