Friday, November 20, 2009

Santokh Singh in ICU

Former soccer international Santokh Singh, a household name, is in Intensive Care Unit at the KL Hospital.

The 57-year-old Santokh was rushed to hospital on Monday by his wife, when he suffered fits at home in Setapak.

It is believed that it is a viral attack and all efforts are being made to get him out of his current coma condition.

Santokh quit playing for Selangor in 1985 but has been actively involved in veteran matches playing for Royal Selangor Club, Selangor veterans and ex-internationals.

His most recent outing was with the Selangor Veterans who travelled to Singapore to compete in the annual Sultan Selangor Cup last month. However, Santokh who was all changed for the match, did not see action.

He was scheduled to play in the World Veteran Soccer tournament in Bangkok next month.

I last met Santokh at the International Football Club (IFC) Ruby Nines soccer tournament in Club Aman in July.

Catching up at Club Aman in July......Datuk Soh Chin Aun, Santokh, Ravindran and Yip Chee Keong.

Santokh was his usual witty, jovial and sarcastic self. He was always the centre of attraction and one occasion that day at Club Aman was when three Sikhs – Santokh, Tara Singh (South City FC) and Daljit Singh (Sentral Chapatti) broke into a conversation in fluent Tamil with Santokh holding court. And that is Santokh, he never fails spring a surprise.

Santokh hails from Setapak Hotsprings started his soccer career with the village team – Hotspurs.

Thomas Arokiam, is the man who initially played for Hotspurs with Santokh in the 70s, who went on to build this village team to produce three internationals, one youth international and one state player.

The first to do the village proud was Subramaniam who played for the national youth team.

Then, there was also T. Nallathamby, who played for Selangor Burnley Cup – Under-20 national youth tournament (now Razak Cup) in 1969 and 70 before playing for Selangor Under-23 team.

But it was Santokh who raised the profile of the village when was the he played for Selangor in the Burnely Cup – a Under-20 national youth tournament (now Razak Cup) in 1971 before Datuk Ghani Minhat picked up burly defender to play for Selangor in 1972 and don national colours the same year.

He won nine Malaysia Cup winners medals from 1972 to 1985 including skippering the team to victory.

Recently, when Rajagobal was named as the national coach, the villagers headed by Thomas organised a dinner for him where Santokh was present too.

Santokh was asked to give a speech at the dinner, and he not only congratulated Rajagobal, but said that he had faith in the latter to change the Malaysian soccer fortunes.

“It really touched me when Santokh said that and I promised him that I will do my level best,” said Rajagobal who had the honour to play alongside Santokh in the Selangor team.

“Santokh was the one who found me employment with PKNS when MCIS was persuading me to join them to play in the Selangor League.

“I am shocked to hear about Santokh and I am praying that he will recover soon. I am not only close to him, but his entire family, as we grew up together," said Rajagobal who was among the string of former internationals and friends who visited Santokh yesterday.

Santokh, Datuk M. Chandran, Datuk Soh Chin Aun, the late Mokhtar Dahari and late R. Arumugam who are always mentioned in the same breath are icons of Malaysian soccer.

Their era of 70s and early 80s is what Malaysian soccer fans are looking forward to witness again.

Let us pray and wish Santokh a speedy recovery.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wish him a speedy recovery.Having said this we must realise that as we age we must slow down in our activities .

Yes, once a sports man, always a sportsman!We must enjoy life at our best maximum capacity