updated 21 Feb 2010, 20:27
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Thu, Feb 18, 2010
The Straits Times & Diva
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Michelle Yim's long-time beau dies of cancer

Hong Kong veteran actress Michelle Yim's long-time beau, Wan Chi Keung, died on Tuesday after an 18-year battle with nasopharyngeal cancer. The former soccer star and actor was 53.

The cause was organ failure, said the Hong Kong celebrity soccer squad in a statement. He collapsed at home on the third day of Chinese New Year and was rushed to hospital, where he was pronounced dead, said Ming Pao Daily News. Yim and his family were at his bedside, said her assistant to Apple Daily.

Wan, who played professionally in the Hong Kong First Division League in the 1970s and 1980s, was known as Asia's top striker. He became an actor and businessman after hanging up his football boots, and had a role as a senior police officer in the Infernal Affairs trilogy.

He was diagnosed in 1992 when he was still in the first stage fo nasopharyngeal carcinoma. He received intensive radiotherapy to overcome the cancer. But in the last year, he was seen frail and thin, and had apparently been in and out of the hospital with the spread of cancer, reported Lianhe Zaobao.

Yim said a press conference that there will be a memorial service for Wan after the Chinese New Year holiday. According to the local morning daily, Wan has many friends in the field, so arrangements will be worked out and funeral details will be released by TVB.

Wan got to know Yim, 54, on the set when he made occassional guest appearances on film and television. According to Ming Pao, the pair had been seeing each other for 26 years but their relationship was only made know to public in 1995, three years after he was diagnosed with the cancer.

Wan had apparently proposed to Yim several times, but was turned down each time, said Lianhe Zaobao. Although she did not marry him, but the Chinese paper said the deep love which the pair shared is no different from a married couple. Yim had apparently also sold a house to raise cash for his medical expenses.

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