Fri, Oct 15, 2010
The Straits Times
Remembering the Gelek King
Photos: ST, TNP, BH, New Nation    

Quah Kim Lye (Former Singapore striker)

"HE WAS very close to me. I was the one who brought him to the national side after I spotted him playing at Farrer Park.

"He was the only footballer to ever ask me how I wanted him to give me the ball.

"I'm not boasting but I was very fast and if my teammate delayed for a second before passing to me

I'd be caught offside. But Dollah read the game so well, I'd never get caught offside."

V Sundramoorthy (Former Singapore international)

"HE WAS my coach in the Lion City Cup when I was 16. At that time, he had just retired and he used to show us some of tricks for us to pick up.

"He told me that I had the talent to go far - that I had to keep my feet on the ground and work hard.

"I used to watch him as I was growing up and I remember his movements with the ball. Even now I can still visualise his dribbles."

Samad Allapitchay (Former Singapore captain)

"I WAS the captain on that fateful day. He sat next to me on the bench (after we came off) and after a few minutes,

I spoke to him: 'Dol, Dol...' But there was no answer.

"Then I turned to him. His eyes were white and he had difficulty breathing. "I shouted 'Fight, Dol!' and then


"It's very sad. He was one of the best players Singapore ever had. He was a dazzler. He would gelek here and gelek there and the whole National Stadium would be happy.

"Off the pitch, he was a nice, humble and soft-spoken man. Even if he argued with you, he would smile. He also always had time for youngsters. He would advise them on how to improve."

Ho Kwang Hock (Former Singapore international)

"HE WAS one hell of a player. You know why he was called the Gelek King? Because his body would move but the ball wouldn't. He would turn opponents round and round. He is incomparable to the current lot, a one of a kind player.

"Once he came for training at Jalan Besar Stadium with a swollen right ankle. But instead of reporting sick, he strapped his ankle tightly to try minimise the pain.

"I remember asking him what the hell he was doing and he replied, 'Cannot let Uncle Choo (Seng Quee) know.' He spent the whole training session doing everything with his left foot instead of his right. Now, you can never find that sort of passion."

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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