Friday, May 28, 2010

Football Memories_28.05.10

The World Cup football fever is back again as Maxis has put up some giant billboards potraying our past Malaysian footballers to the theme of ”Committed to the Game”. As I drive pass the billboards of R. Arumugam a.k.a Spiderman in Subang Jaya & Santokh Singh a.k.a Ironman in Damansara, there is a sense of pride and I feel fortunate of growing up when our national football players were living legends and household names in our country!

Our 1 Malaysia football team which I remember consists of legends like captain Soh Chin Aun a.k.a Towkay, defender Santokh Singh, goalkeeper Arumugam, the great forward Mokhtar Dahari, Zainal Abidin Hassan, Dollah Salleh and the twin strikers from Sabah, Hasan Sani and James Wong!

There was a story I heard in the eighties regarding our national goalkeeper, Arumugam. He was known as the Spiderman for his long hands and his agility in goal. There was once a house on fire in his neighborhood in Klang. A crowd gathered as the firemen were trying to put out the fire. A mother was holding her baby in the first floor and was shouting for help from the crowd to catch her baby. Who else than Arumugam, the safest pair of hands in goal, stepped forward and asked the mother to drop the baby. As expected and to the relief of the crowd, Arumugam caught the baby and rolled in the ground. However, his instincts took over and when he got up, he tossed the baby in the air and kicked it! This joke was told over and over again with a few variations over the years!!!

Thank you to Maxis for bringing back our memories and to relive the times when our team qualified for the 1980 Moscow Olympics by beating Korea 2-1. I remembered the second goal when Hassan Sani managed to beat two Korean players before passing the ball to James Wong in the penalty box. We were all on our feet in front of the TV and screaming at him to shoot but he took an eternity to dribble and finally score the winning goal. Every Malaysian rooted for the team and even though we boycotted the Moscow Olympics, it was one of finest moment for our football history.

For more videos and photographs, visit the Maxis site: You can watch the interviews of Dato' Soh Chin Aun and Hasan Sani to relive our past glories. Thank you again, Maxis!

To our past legends, I thank you for the fond memories and to our future players…Don’t Stop Believing . Hold on to that feeling…

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