KUALA LUMPUR - The national hockey team was dealt with a massive blow when their most senior player, Chua Boon Huat, died from a fatal car accident on Thursday .
Chua, born May 3, 1980 in Malacca, capped 321 times for the country, surpassing the appearances made by Nor Saiful Zaini and his best friend S. Kuhan.
Chua was killed when his Proton Perdana V6 car collided with a lorry that was watering plants on the Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP) at about 2.30am near the Kelana Jaya LRT station.
Chua was in training with the national team to prepare for the Asia Cup which will be held in Ipoh from Aug 24-Sept 1.
He has played in all major international hockey tournaments and has also taken to coaching junior teams (Sukma Pahang). Chua made his national team debut as a 17-year-old under Paul Lissek in the 1998 Commonwealth Games and has played in competitions such as the World Cup, Olympics, Champions Trophy, Asian Games and Asia Cup.
He captained the 2001 National Junior team which featured in the Junior World Cup in Hobart. After 12 years as a regular in the national team, Chua was dropped from the squad in 2009.
But he was back in the fray last year when new coach Paul Revington picked him for the training squad.
He made it into the final team and has played in all tournaments under the South African coach. Chua's last assignment was the FIH World Hockey League in Johor Baru last month.
At club level he was member of the KL Hockey Club and won the Malaysia Hockey League (league and overall) double titles for the last three years.
His services as a player with leadership qualities will be missed as he is known to help youngsters in the team.