Unflashy on the field, generous off it

SINGAPORE - Humble, generous and a very good footballer - this is how former Singapore international Quah Kim Siak will be remembered by those closest to him.

The fourth of six brothers from the Republic's most famous footballing family died on Sunday, aged 72, of kidney, liver and lung complications.

A tireless central midfielder who starred for the Lions in the 1960s and 1970s, he was known for his uncomplicated style of play.

"He was a very good player," former team-mate Majid Ariff said. "Not the quickest, but apart from that, there was very little he did wrong."

Younger brother Kim Song, 61, added: "He always gave his best, playing in a position that not everyone notices.

"But he was the one who did all the dirty work, before providing a pass for strikers like me to score and claim all the limelight."

Apart from Kim Siak and Kim Song, brothers Kim Beng, Kim Choon, Kim Swee and Kim Lye also donned national colours, while sisters Theresa, Doreen and Rosa played for the women's team.

Kim Siak's death comes just 19 months after eldest brother Kim Beng succumbed to old age.

Speaking to The Straits Times yesterday, Kim Song paid tribute to "the brother I was closest to".

"He helped look after me when I was growing up and later, gave me a lot of advice about how to live a footballer's life," he said.

But it was not just on the pitch that Kim Siak touched the lives of those around him.

"He never hesitated to help anyone in need, whether it was financially or emotionally," Kim Song said. "That's what I'll miss most about him - his generosity."

Kim Siak's wake is being held at Blk 508 Wellington Circle.

The funeral will be at Mandai Crematorium on Thursday at 1.30pm.

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