Monday 17 June 2019

Jango will be remembered in Gorey forever

A little over a week since the passing of Colin Fleming, tributes continue to pour in for the inspirational Gorey man, writes Cathy Lee

The late Colin ‘Jango’ Fleming
The late Colin ‘Jango’ Fleming

Colin 'Jango' Fleming (38) was known for his passionate fighting spirit in his sport, as well as his loving dedication to family and fearlessness when it came to fighting difficult battles.

Jango was an every day hero, this being the very name attached to his social media page on which he raffled off his three day ticket to Electric Picnic, a music festival he traditionally attended with his late cousin Laura.

As a result of the raffle, Jango was able to raise €30,700 for the children's' cancer charity Aoibheann's Pink Tie, which surpassed all expectations.

In December 2018, Jango presented the cheque to the charity, which offers support to families of children diagnosed with cancer, which filled Jango with great pride.

Speaking about Jango, Aoibheann's Pink Tie said that he was a true inspiration, and selfless to think of others whilst battling cancer himself.

His donation was used to pay for bumper parties for the children and their families, which brought comfort and smiles to all.

Jango was a mentor and a well respected sportsman, and he coached the under 14s junior teams at Gorey Rangers FC, being known for encouraging youngsters to play the game the proper way.

In September last year, the club paid Jango the ultimate tribute, naming the junior academy after him.

The name 'Colin Jango Fleming Underage Academy,' its Chairperson Gary O'Brien said will remain and so Jango will never be forgotten.

Originally from Coolgreany, Colin Fleming was born in 1981 and grew up within the community there alongside his brother Shane and sister Janet.

He went to national school in Coolgreany and then on to Gorey Community School, where he met long time friend Gary O'Brien.

He was an independent young man, but always had a passion for being outdoors and got into following sport from a young age, and he particularly followed hurling, boxing and soccer and had an interest in beach fishing.

He got involved with soccer in Coolgreany, with Coolgreany Celtic FC and those connections he kept for all of his life.

His brother Shane said that he got his own love of football from Colin, as he looked up to him and the sport brought them closer together, as family was a huge part of Coolgreany Celtic FC.

In his youth, Colin travelled the country to attend Ireland matches but also across the pond to see his favourites in the Scottish league, Celtic FC play in Glasgow.

This followed him into his adulthood, his greatest trip was during the Euros of 2012, where he travelled all across Poland to support the boys in green.

He also supported Manchester United, taking that inspiration from his father, Tom Fleming.

Colin wasn't afraid to rub shoulders with the greats of the sport, and during his illness received video messages of support from Irish athletes like Shay Given, Katie Taylor and Paul McGrath, often having the luck of the draw to meet sports stars while going to games.

Professionally, he always worked locally, starting out as a construction worker in Coolgreany, until later when he went into bar work, working in The Fowler in Gorey and on to McGovern's Bar.

Jango married his soul mate Schalan in February 2016 and together they had three children Charlie, Annie and Jack.

Schalan cared for Jango throughout his illness, and he held huge respect for her as his wife and the mother of his children.

Jango saw his children as his legacy, and one of his many joys was getting outdoors with the children, bringing them on woodland walks and other various outdoor activities.

He felt blessed, lucky and grateful for his wife and three children and had a very deep love for his family, the biggest part of his life.

He often brought the children to his mother Anne's home place of Castleboro in Clonroche, where he was always met with a warm welcome.

Back in the Gorey Rangers FC Clubhouse, all the club members of all ages had nothing but respect for Jango and his calm temperament.

For some time, Jango had his sights set on becoming a coach, as a way to give back to the sport.

Gary O'Brien said that Jango was a friend to everyone in the club because he never had a bad word to say about anybody, and in return nobody ever had a bad word to say about him.

In wider circles, he always had time to talk to different people from other clubs down throughout the years.

Gary said that he was impressed by his old school mate's ability to have such a huge respect in a short time at the club, as both treasurer and secretary of the club, he was hugely committed to the responsibility that comes with such a role.

Gary confirmed that a sign reading 'Team Jango' will be put up in the club's dressing rooms to mark Jango's hard work, as a friend, player, coach and committee member.

At Jango's funeral, there was a large guard of honour from footballers of Gorey Rangers FC and Coolgreany Celtic FC.

A lasting message from Jango is 'When you are thrown in the deep end, all you can do is try to swim, fight and stay positive'.

Colin 'Jango' Fleming is survived by his wife Schalan, children Charlie, Annie and Jack, parents Tom and Anne, siblings Shane and Janet.

Gorey Guardian