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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Zuiko and a Football Legend


This picture was taken quite a while back, around June.

Santokh Singh aka Iron Man was one of Malaysian football stalwart in the late 70s early 80s that qualified for 2 Olympic games, Munich 1972 and Moscow 1980 (in which Malaysia boycotted due to the Afghanistan invasion). Malaysia at the time was easily considered among the elite in Asian football (twice 3rd place), and the players at the time included Dato' Soh Chin Aun (Towkay), Jamal Nasir, James Wong, the late R. Arumugam (Spiderman) and the late Mokhtar Dahari (Super Mokh).

I remembered watching them on the small black & white TV screen chasing the white speck of a ball. Yes, resolution was non-existent compared to the 720p resolution we have on Astro TV nowadays! I was merely 7 or 8 years old at the time, and was very proud of them. Those were the time when it was proud to play football. (Eventually I changed sports code to Union Rugby in my teenage years after experiencing the football grassroots politics at school level that may be one of the actual cause of the pitfall of Malaysian football now).

E-30 with Zuiko Digital ED35-100mm F2.0
100mm, f/2.8, 1/200s, ISO800, -0.7ev

The talk was short and entertaining. See, this was done in June, when the FIFA World Cup Finals mania was at its peak. And, the spirit of Malaysia Olympic Team 1980 was rejuvenated to rekindle the football glories past. Santokh was a simple chap, and his witty quips made the crowd laugh. When asked to comment on the current football situation, he passed.

I think many of the 1980 Golden Generation wouldn't want to make statements that actually most Malaysians already know. It's a continuous debate among all walks of life on how to cure the Malaysian football disease, and it has been 30 years since! Until now, there's none. I bet cancer and HIV have a better chance of getting a cure than our national football team. For one, there's no way in my lifetime to see Malaysia play a minute of football in the FIFA World Cup Finals. I can guarantee that.

Aaaah.. such a sad state in our football is in.

At least, I learned one thing from Santokh though. One person did ask if he had any advise to the young players to at least bring back some pride or fresh air to the state of our football. Santokh's answer was simple, "Just have the 3D's! Determination, Discipline, Dedication!".

Though, I still remember when Malaysia lost to England 2-4 in June, 1991. That was entertaining football and the Malaysian players actually were at awe with Gary Lineker. Eventually, he scored all goals for England. Hmmmm.... I thought Malaysian football was getting better.... Ohhh Boy, was I wrong. The icing on the cake was the big bribery bust of 1994/95 which hurtled Malaysian football to the Stone Age!

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