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Thursday, November 01, 2018

Former Sabah coach Shellito passes away

By FRANCIS XAVIER

 KOTA KINABALU: Former Sabah coach Ken Shellito passed away peacefully at the age of 78 at his residence, Shellito Villa, in Kampung Minintod, Penampang, near here, early yesterday. He leaves behind wife Jeany and two daughters aged 50 and six years old. The former Chelsea and England footballer was hospitalised at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on October 15 due to a lung infection and kidney complications but was discharged on Tuesday.

 He died at 7.13am, with his wife, Jeany and family members by his side. According to his close relative, Shellito’s funeral will be held at 11am on Saturday at KK Tiong Hua Funeral Parlour. Sabah Football Association (Safa) president Alijus Sipil, when contacted yesterday, expressed his sadness and grief upon knowing of Shellito’s passing. He said they have lost a great man, who has contributed a lot to Sabah football, particularly when he managed the state senior squad back in 1998.

 After parting ways with Safa, he continued to be involved in football development at the grassroots level through the Chelsea FC Soccer School (later Known as Ken Shellito Football Academy), which he set up in Penampang. “Safa valued much the services and contributions Shellito had given to the development of football in Sabah and will never be forgotten. I, on behalf of Safa, would like to send our condolences to the family of Shellito and hope that they will stay strong during this difficult time,” Alijus said.

 Born in East Ham, London on April 18, 1940, Shellito, or his full name, Kenneth John Shellito, started his football career with Chelsea. He spent his entire playing career at the club. Shellito, who played as a fullback, made a total of 123 appearances for Chelsea from 1959-1965, and was capped one time by England in the match against Czechoslovakia in 1963, before being forced into early retirement due to a serious knee injury.

 Upon his retirement, Shellito joined the Chelsea coaching staff and took charge of the club’s youth academy in 1968. In the summer of 1977, he was appointed the manager of Chelsea, succeeding his former partner at full-back, Eddie McCreadie. He managed to keep Chelsea in the First Division in 1977–78, but the highlight of his tenure was a shock 4–2 win over reigning European champions Liverpool in the FA Cup.

He left the club less than a year later, with the side at the bottom of the First Division and facing relegation. He was later manager of Cambridge United, before his Malaysian adventure. He was appointed as head coach of Kuala Lumpur in 1994 before signing for Perak the following year. He then signed for Sabah in 1998 and also had a short stint with Selangor MPPJ (2003). MPPJ would go on to become the first club side to win the Malaysia Cup in 2003 after beating Sabah 3-0 in the final, and the club side’s success owed much to the Englishman who picked the squad at the start of the season, although he parted ways with the club in mid-season and was replaced by Dollah Salleh.

 He also had a short stint with the Asian Football Confederation as match analyst. Shellito was a Malaysian PR holder after settling down in Sabah and contributed much of his time to football development.

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