Death of Johnny Chadda

November 8, 2018

It is with great sadness that we have to advise football fans everywhere of the sad passing of the great Johnny Chadda. The word legend is bandied about all too easily sometimes, but it is fair to say that Sligo Rovers may not exist today but for Johnny’s unstinting service to the club over very many years.

His love for the club is renowned throughout the country and his loss will be felt by a huge range of people of all ages not only in Ireland but in his homeland of India.

The contribution he made to his adopted home was immeasurable both as a football administrator and a maths teacher in Summerhill college. The stories and anecdotes of what Johnny sometimes had to do to make ends meet for the Bit O’Red is the stuff of legend and in many ways defines Sligo Rovers’ hunger for survival at the highest level in the domestic game.

I recall seeing Johnny standing on the terracing at the corner of the pitch on the West stand side of the Showgrounds about two years ago. He was looking across the turf in silence. There was no match being played. He was just breathing it all in. Approaching him I remarked that it was said that Sir Matt Busby used to do the same at Old Trafford and that he would see the ghosts of his great 1958 side. Johnny typically smiled to himself, asked after my father and we moved on to talk about the upcoming game.

He was a gentleman – never with a bad word to say, always seeing the positives. He has set the standard over many years. His dedication and commitment to Sligo Rovers has been remarkable, will be long remembered, and truly is an inspiration for all those who tread a path in support of Sligo Rovers.

At the 75th Anniversary celebration dinner almost five years ago, Johnny was one of the last to receive his award and to speak.  He reminded everyone there, that he had many dreams in his life, and he was lucky, because they all had come true. The League Championship in 1977, The FAI Cup in 1983, and the treble in 1994.  And he finished with his favourite poem.Active Image

Even if the wind stops to blow
Even if the sea ceases to flow
Even if the sun ceases to rise
The name of Sligo Rovers, will shine.
And shine forever like the morning star
Glittering in the sky
Johnny Chadda

He passed away today after a short illness and our sincerest sympathy go out to Johnny’s family.

May he rest in peace.

Funeral arrangements:
John Chadda (Dina Nath), Circular Road, Sligo, peacefully at St. James’ Hopsital, Dublin. Reposing at Feehily’s Funeral Home, Cartron Cross, Sligo from 5pm until 7pm on Friday, June 13th. Committal service at Roselawn Crematorium, Belfast on Saturday at 10am.

Praise for Johnny from former Rovers managers

courtesy of the Sligo Weekender (first published 4 March 2008)

TWO high-profile former managers of Sligo Rovers have this week paid tribute to this year’s Sligo Sports Awards Hall of Fame Award winner, Johnny Chadda.

The Hall of Fame award honours those who have given long and dedicated service to their particular sport.

The annual awards, organised by the Sligo Weekender in association with the Ulster Bank, will be presented in the Sligo Park Hotel next Friday night.

We sought the views of Willie McStay and Lawrie Sanchez on Johnny Chadda’s contribution at the Showgrounds and both particularly praised the always positive attitude of the long-time Sligo Rovers stalwart.

Willie McStay, who managed Sligo Rovers during their FAI Cup, League Cup and First Division treble winning season of 1993-94, said that it was a well-deserved award for Chadda.

“He was one of the first people I met at the club when I came to Sligo. He is just a real gentleman who is held in great regard in Sligo and is passionate in his support of Sligo Rovers.”

“I always found him very, very supportive. I don’t think I ever heard Johnny say a negative thing. That is a testament to the type of man he is. He is a real club person.”

The former Glasgow Celtic player said that often in clubs there are people who are hard workers, but can also be very negative.

“Johnny might feel that there are things that need to be improved but he will find a positive way to say it When times were tough for managers at Sligo Rovers Johnny provided a positive strength.”

Another former Sligo Rovers manager, Lawrie Sanchez, was also emphasised what a positive person Johnny Chadda is.

The former Fulham and Northern Ireland manager, one of the few ex-Sligo Rovers bosses to have gone on to manage at international level and in England’s top flight, said that Chadda is synonymous with Sligo Rovers.

“Obviously he was on the Management Committee when I was [manager] there and he was always really helpful to me.”

“He is a very positive person and I would like to pass on my congratulations to him on a well-deserved award.”

Northern Ireland boss said that his work was an example to anyone involved in sport, especially volunteers who work with clubs at grassroots level.

“Without volunteers clubs like Sligo Rovers would not be able to do what they do. People don’t appreciate that and sometimes this fact gets lost.”

“So it is nice when an award like this highlights the work that not only Johnny does, but everyone with clubs up and down the country.”

“He fully deserves it for that and 50 years [involvement with Sligo Rovers] is a phenomenal achievement.”

He said he had great memories of Johnny from his time at the club.

“The length of service he has given Sligo Rovers is fantastic.”

“Sligo has always been close to his heart – I had some fantastic times there when I was manager.”

“People like him did all the work in the background and the rest of us – on the pitch – received the thanks and credit.”

“It is nice that now the situation has turned itself around and that he receives the credit for all that he has done and what was, at times, a thankless task.”

An indication of the immense contribution that Johnny Chadda has made to Rovers is evident from the following tribute by former Sligo Rovers player and manager, David Pugh, a recipient at the inaugural Sligo Sports Awards ceremony.

He said the following in a column, ‘The Sportsman’, that appeared in the Sligo Weekender some years ago: “Down through the years, during my playing time at the Showgrounds and also as a colleague in Summerhill College, I had lots of contact with Johnny Chadda and, to be honest, never failed to wonder at the sheer tenacity of the man.”

“No matter what the crisis, no matter what the problem he was always there, shoulder to the wheel, when many others had long since stopped pushing.”
Compiled by Paraic Casey