Freeman Cebu Sports

Gone too fast

SPORTS EYE - Raffy T. Uytiepo - The Freeman

Micheal Jackson’s “Gone Too Soon” has become the favorite song during funerals.  Of course “Ave Maria” and “The Prayer” by Andrea Bocelli are still the all-time classics. But at the rate people are dying these days, the song should be “Gone Too Fast “.  In the Philippines, it’s always “Hindi Kita Malilimutan” and “Tanging Yaman”. Here are some celebrities who bid farewell to this world at the start of the year.

Christophere Plummer

80, who played Captain Von Trapp in the “Sound Of Music”.  His last movie  was “All  The Money In The World” where he starred as ertswhile America’s richest man, Jean Paul Getty, my boss at Gety Oil Company.

Hilton Valentine

The 77-year old lead guitarist of the British band the Animals who popularized “The House of the Rising Sun”.  Valentine did the distinctive intro to the song.  It was also the first guitar chords I learned in the mid-Sixties.  The Animals “We Got To Get Out Of This Place“ became a hit with the American forces during the Vietam War.

Mary Wilson

76, co-founder of the Supremes, one of the most successful all-girl  line-ups of the 60s.  Bannered by Diana Ross, the Supremes enjoyed huge success with such soul classics as “Stop In The Name of Love”, “Baby Love” and “Where Did our Love Go”

Chick Corea

79, was one of the pioneers of jazz fusion, playing the electric piano.  He collaborated with Miles Davis from 1968.

Patricia Healey

Wife of singer Engelbert Humperdink, died of Covid 19 at 85, Engelbert was himself infected but recovered. Humperdink 84, was in the Philipines a few years ago and performed at the Cebu Waterfront Hotel.  His big hits include “Release Me” “Man Without Love” and “The Last Waltz”, among others.

Spinks and Leutcheu

Former world  heavyweight Leon Spinks died February 6 (Phl time) after losing a five-year battle with cancer.  A former Olympic light heavyweight gold winner in Montreal in 1976, Spinks turned pro six months later at age 23.  On February 15, 1978, Spinks, with ony eight professional fights (7 wins  and a draw), upset the aging Muhammad Ali who was then 36, to win the heavyweight crown. He lost to Ali in the rematch. On January 16, 1982, Spinks was mugged. They not only  took his money and the Jewelry he was wearing, but also removed his two gold front teeth. Clement Leutcheu, 25, who was a standout center of  the St. Benilde Blazers was found dead in his apartment, an apparent  victim of a cardiac arrest.  Leutcheu from Cameroon lifted the Blazers from the NCAA cellar and made the team a contender. 

Here in the Philippines, several  celebrities also went to the Great Beyond, former Senator Sonny Osmena succumbed to cancer at 86.  Dating Daan evangelist Eli Soriana 73, Dante Jimenez crime crusader, MRT GM Jojo Garcia and my aunt, Tita Tessie  Uytiepo Quirino, president of the Technological Institute of the Philippines (TIP) also bid their final “Adios”.

NOTES: My fellow columnist JV Araneta, probably one of the most durable cyclists around, wrote about the accident that killed a cyclist about three weeks ago. This just proved that runners like cyclists, could suffer the same fate.  In fact several runners have died after being side swept or hit from behind. When I was requesting for a permit  for a run, a city official said “Buang ning mga runners. The road belongs to the vehicle and there’s no reasons mag dagan-dagan sila diha.”  I shot back at the guy, “If buang ang mga runners then, naay 40,000 buang sa New York City Marathon including the mayor who closed the five buroughs for hours.”

  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with