AIZAWL, Nov 5 - In a historic moment, an English footballer’s dying wish was granted in Aizawl during the Mizoram Premier League (MPL) football match on Friday night.
The ashes of Herbert Winston Vaughan, a British Army officer, were scattered in Lammual football stadium by his wife Rokamlovi, during half-time, after a minute of silence was observed in his honour.
Besides Vaughan’s wife, twenty members of his family came all the way from England to witness the event.
Vaughan, who died on January 19, 2016 at the age of 89 at Northern General Hospital, London, made a wish before his death that a special ceremony is observed during a football match at Lammual and his ashes be scattered on this ground where he had played football during his youthful days about 70 years back.
“His children contacted the MFA and informed about their father’s dying wish. We are obliged to grant Vaughan’s last wish,” MFA honorary secretary Lalnghinglova Hmar said.
Vaughan was a British Army officer who served in Aizawl (then spelled as Aijal, the headquarter of Lushai Hills district) till India got Independence.
During his days in Aizawl, Vaughan was well known to the local people for his football skills and was nicknamed “Jumbo” or “Zama.” He played with some local football clubs, including the Aijal Eleven.
He married a Mizo woman Rokamlovi in 1945. He returned to England with his wife and settled in Sheffield. The couple were blessed with 10 children, 23 grand-children and 28 great grandchildren.
In England, he became a staunch supporter of Sheffield United Football Club till his death. The Sheffield United has also held a special ceremony at its home ground Bramall Lane for him after his death.
Hmar said that Vaughan showed keen interest in the development of football in Mizoram. When Mizoram became the champion of Santosh Trophy in 2014, he sent congratulatory message, he said.