Fiji football’s loss

Families and friends of the late Pratap Singh pay their last respect at the Vatuwaqa cemetery in Suva. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Families and friends of the late Pratap Singh pay their last respect at the Vatuwaqa cemetery in Suva. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

HUNDREDS turned out to pay their last respects to businessman and former sports administrator Pratap Singh aka Fatty who was cremated at the Vatuwaqa Cemetery in Suva yesterday.

Following prayers and religious rites at his residence in Laucala Bay, a memorial service was held at the FMF Gymnasium. The final rites were performed at the Vatuwaqa Cemetery before the cremation.

A number of prominent business personalities, former football administrators, players, Fiji Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and former Fiji president Ratu Epeli Nailatikau were present at the Vatuwaqa Cemetery. Former Fiji Football Association (Fiji FA) referees director Mahen Singh, who is the younger brother, said leadership skills were the biggest strength of the deceased.

“It is a sad day for us as we have lost this great gentleman. As people put it today, he was the king. His death is not only a big loss to us but many legions of friends. He has been associated with soccer since the last 40-50 years,” Singh said.

“He started as a Civic Soccer club manager and then went to become a manager for the Suva team which won the IDC in 1981 after 21 years and then also in 1983 he was the manager for Fiji team which toured Tonga. His leadership and his ability to get things done were his biggest strengths and he did not leave one stone unturned to try and achieve success. He use to wake up early go pick players, he gained respect from players and his passion matched his sports personality,” he said.

According to many present at the funeral yesterday, Fatty has indeed left a legacy.

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