Christopher L. Monfortdate posted: 2006-12-05 16:57:23
(1961 – 2001)
The thing that stood out the most with Chris Monfort was his overwhelming passion for football. He manifested his deep commitment to the game not only in playing it, but also in organizing tournaments, officiating, training players, and propagating the game in general. It did not take long for him to be recognized as one of the pillars of football in the country.
When Chris joined the coaching staff of Yeng Guiao’s RFM Swift Team in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), Chris and Yeng became solid friends. They already knew each other during their college days at the University of the Philippines, where Chris was a member of the football varsity while Yeng was with the basketball varsity.
According to Yeng, Chris became an integral part of his staff and was, in his opinion, the best conditioning coach in the PBA during that time. His tutelage was integral in winning two PBA championships during their early years.
During practices, his work ethic and competence were apparent with the basketball players. He established deep personal relationships with the people around him and showed great motivational skills.
Even during their college days, these traits were already present within Chris. Yeng recalls: “Chris made friends easily because of his outgoing personality and great sense of humor. People would think that, because of his good looks and mestizo features, he would be snobbish or suplado. On the contrary, he was a popular figure around the campus.”
But, in spite of his success and growing popularity in the field of basketball, Chris would always go back to his roots in football. “He would pour out his heartaches and disappointments on why soccer or football—the most popular sport in the world and, to him, the most beautiful game ever invented—was not getting due recognition in this country. To him, popularizing the game was his mission and calling. It would not take long for him to put up the Ateneo Football School and later on become the Secretary-General of the Football Association,” Yeng said.
Chris was married to Gina Monfort. Their two sons, Carlos and Zico, both have the makings of great football players like their father and the football legends after whom they were named. In fact, Carlos, the eldest son, won the MVP honors in a recent tournament in Europe. Chris Monfort’s memory and legacy in Philippine football is well secured with the accomplishments and genes that he has left behind.