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October 25, 2011
Star Sport


 

Goodbye 'Fanna'... former Reggae Boy passes on
Dave Lindo, Star Writer


Former Reggae Boy Winston 'Fanna' Griffiths. - File

MAY PEN, Clarendon:

Former Reggae Boy Winston 'Fanna' Griffiths died at the May Pen Hospital on Sunday.

Griffiths was seen as one of the most talented footballers to have come out of the parish of Clarendon.

As a youngster, he was above his peers, gifted with special ball dribbling skills, speed, technical skills and awareness on and off the ball.

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) is among those that sent condolence after news of the former midfielder's death surfaced.

"The JFF is saddened to hear of the tragic passing of former national player Winston "Fanna" Griffiths," it said through a media release issued yesterday.

tragedy

"We hear of these circumstances so often yet when the tragedy is direct it triggers a feeling of intimate melancholy.

The JFF wishes to express to his wife, children, brothers and sisters our sincere condolence and assurance that though he has finished playing this game of life-he has moved on to a bigger league."

Griffiths made his debut for the Reggae Boyz in 1998 against Guatemala. He last played for Jamaica in 2002 against Barbados playing a total of 28 games, scoring two goals. Up to the time of his death, Griffiths was living in Canada.

Griffiths is from the community of Hayes in the parish. His talent was identified at an early age and shone while playing for the parish of Clarendon at all youth levels. He was also outstanding while representing Jamaica at all youth levels.

After leaving Glenmuir High, Griffiths got a football scholarship to Rhode Island University in the United States. He led Rhode Island to the Atlantic 10 Conference regular season and tournament championship in 1999.

Graduating from Rhode Island, Griffiths began his professional career with Connecticut Wolves of the USL but later returned to Jamaica to play for Galaxy FC in the National Premier League.

At Galaxy, he lit up the Premier League, displaying some dazzling football skills which caught the eye of then Reggae Boyz coach Rene Simoes, who brought him in the national senior team programme.

In 2002, after the relegation of Galaxy from the Premier League, Griffiths had stints with Major League Soccer clubs Metro Stars, Los Angeles Galaxy and New England Revolution. He reached the finals of the MLS with New England in 2002 but lost to his former club Metro Stars.

He signed with Portmore United in 2003 but although showing glimpse of brilliance, it was evident that he was way below his best.

In 2005, he was signed by Arnett Gardens FC but was loaned to Toronto Lynx and later returned to Arnett.

In 2007, he was signed by Toronto Supra of the Canadian Soccer League, scoring a hat-trick on his debut against Canadian Lions in their 5-2 victory. He returned to Jamaica in that same year to play for Sporting Central Academy in the Premier League.

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