FOUR years ago, he left in a blaze of media glory for the big money and even bigger crowds of football-mad Indonesia.
"I feel like a millionaire; a proper footballer," Noh Alam Shah said then of the reception he received upon joining Arema Malang in September 2009. He is believed to have been on $10,000 a month and was playing in front of 35,000-strong crowds.
But, over four years and some undelivered pay cheques later, he decided in August that he had had just about enough of the game he so loved.
"I didn't have any motivation left," said the 33-year-old, who revealed that, "like a charity", he has elected to overlook unpaid wages at clubs like Arema, PSS Sleman and Persekap Pasuruan.
"I thought of coming back and not playing football any more.
"I wanted to try something else, like academy coaching."
Motivation, however, came calling in October, in the form of a man Alam Shah calls "my boss".
And true to his "Godfather" moniker, Teo Hock Seng's offer was one that the temperamental striker could not refuse.
"It's always about my boss," Alam Shah said of his decision to rejoin Teo's Great Eastern-Yeo's S-League champions Tampines Rovers on a one-year deal.
He had made the return before, albeit with little success.
A four-month spell with the Stags at the end of the 2012 season reaped zero goals from 16 appearances - a disappointing return for a player who, in 2007, scored seven goals against Laos in an ASEAN Football Championship match. Boasting 35 goals in 80 international appearances, the 2005 S-League Player of the Year also bagged over 100 strikes for Tampines from 2003 to 2009.