The St. Lucia Football Association said it is saddened by the passing of Joella Fanus, who was selected to play on the national female squad 2013.
“Fanus, who always had an infinite love for football, officially began her football career at the age of 15 with the Amazons Soccer
Club. Whenever the opportunity presented itself she could always be found on a football field, where she either played or looked on with avid interest. She was surrounded by a family of footballers and that aroused her interest and determination to play the game,” the association said in a tribute.
“On the field of play she was definitely a living example of the club’s motto, ‘Accepting and Surmounting Challenges’. Her versatility and natural skill allowed her to play in various positions for the club; whether it was in the midfield, defence or forward. In addition she never shied away from her responsibilities and being a team player, was always willing to sacrifice for the benefit of the club. Indeed, she always did an amazing job at it. She was a feisty footballer and a relentless one as well.”
The association said Fanus’ passion and dedication for the sport was indeed remarkable, and she always fought for what she believed in.
In 2009 she was called to trials for the St. Lucia National Under 20 team but failed to make the final team.
“She was not undaunted by that setback, and vowed to keep on persevering. She was rewarded when once again she was called to trials in 2011 and was subsequently selected on the national training squad,” the association said.
“Joella ‘Bella’ Fanus will be remembered for her “never say die” attitude on the field of play, and her determination to succeed. While she was aggressive in offence she was nevertheless fearless in defence and presented an imposing figure to her opponents.
“Because of her exquisite qualities she was a source of inspiration and motivation to her team-mates, and more often than not led by example.”
The association said her love for the sport and her club was unquestionable.
“She must be remembered by the following words, “love seeketh not itself to please, nor for itself have any cure, but for another gives it ease and builds a heaven in hell’s despair’.
“We must always forget what is behind us and strain towards what is ahead. Press on towards the goal this beautiful game of football which Joella so passionately loved and enjoyed.”
The SLFA has extended its deepest sympathies to the family and the National Female Training Squad for the loss.