May 2019 Volume 15

Farewell Winston Chung Fah

Leroy Dias
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Winston Chung Fah has left us with beautiful, pleasant memories of an iconic figure. As was evident in the broad cross-section of people who attended his sendoff on December 3, 2018, in Pinecrest, Florida, he touched the lives of a myriad of folks from all walks of life and hue.

The standing-room-only church service, spilling over into the halls, and the smiles and the stories you could hear from the different groups interspersing the gathering at the repast is further testament to the influence of this legendary man. The husband, father, brother, grandfather, mentor, coach, motivator, gave his all to whatever task he claimed. He was always smiling, and if you gave him an audience, he was in his elements, as he laid out the different football related and other personal situations he might have found himself in, throughout his lifetime, and came out of them unscathed.

I was among the last of a handful of people to leave the repast (FIU Stadium) venue at around 11 pm as the stewards of the event unclothed the tables and swept the floor. It could easily have turned into an all-night affair because Chungie's spirit was all over the place, he had his audience.

Some of the persons I ran into were people who, before that day were just subjects of stories of greatness in my memory bank of a rich Jamaican football history. Some of these stories I heard from Chungie.

On this day, I was finally able to put faces to these once great, still humble Jamaican footballers. Others were teammates I haven't seen since playing on the 1974 Jamaica Juvenile team with Chungie as one of the coaches, some KC schoolmates, Vere Tech teammates, one of my Major League coaches and a host of other long-time-no-see folks. I am deliberately avoiding listing the names of the people I saw because, apart from the fact that there is a strong possibility that I will forget some names, such a list would be too lengthy and detracting.

The conversation about the Olivier Shield game between KC and Chungie's Clarendon College which is now coached by one of his most talented proteges was unavoidable. Some were of the opinion that the game should have been postponed in Chungie’s honor, while others, myself included, opined that Chungie would have wanted the game to be played.

The greater part of me obviously wanted KC to win (Fortis family for life), but there was also a part that felt the one-nil CC victory was a fitting tribute to Chungie on the day we bid him farewell.

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