Coach Chung leaves behind rich legacy

Images courtesy Academy Sports Club

Caribbean football lost one of its heroes when respected coach Winston Chung Fah passed away on 8 November. A former national coach in both the land of his birth, Jamaica, and the Cayman Islands, Chung Fah is credited with helping advance the sport in both countries with his impact rippling even wider.

He died at 78 in Florida after battling illness for some time, but not before leaving behind a rich legacy.

“The Great One is no More,” stated a Facebook post breaking the news on 8 November by Jamaican club Santos FC, which Chung Fah founded in 1964.

After coaching at the school and club levels in Jamaica, Coach Chung moved to Cayman, where he served as Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) technical director for a few years starting in the late 1980s. He then returned home for two years to serve Jamaican football in a similar capacity.

Chung Fah was back in Cayman as technical director at Scholars before establishing Academy Sports Club. “As the founder of Academy Sports Club, he laid the foundation for many young players to excel not only on the football pitch but in their academic, personal and professional lives,” read a statement from the club.

Coach Chung with Academy players.

“It’s sad to say goodbye but we join everyone in our community in thanking Coach Chung for his invaluable service. We extend our condolences to his family and vow to let his legacy live on through the work of Academy Sports Club.”

CIFA President Alfredo Whittaker added that Coach Chung “was an inspiration to many and was a father-figure for several of the young men and women in the Cayman Islands.”

He added: “As a former technical director of our nation programs, he molded some of our greatest football players and mentored many of our local coaches.”

Several social media posts paid tribute to the recipient of FIFA’s Order of Merit.

Former Cayman Islands national player Michael Myles stated, in a Facebook post, that the world had lost one of its most brilliant humanitarians. “He challenged me to be a better man, better dad, better citizen, to give more than I received, to live and love like my life dependent on it. He taught me to be passionate about serving others,” said Myles, who has gone on to become an advocate for the youth.

“He taught me to believe that I can make a difference in the world, he taught me to always stand for something bigger than myself,” he added.

Jamaica’s Sports Minister, Olivia Grange said “he was undoubtedly among the best football coaches to have emerged from Jamaica but he was more than that to football in Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Florida in the United States”.


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