Sultan Sharafuddin wants future generations to learn about Selangor’s football history

Soccer great: Sultan Sharafuddin (left) looking at Santokh Singh’s jersey with Zainal Abidin Hassan (right) and former FAS secretary S. Anthonysamy.

SELANGOR’s strong tradition in Malaysian football should not be forgotten. The Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah wants future generations to be aware of the legends who had contributed to Selangor’s success in the local football competitions, including the prestigious Malaysia Cup.

With this in mind, Sultan Sharafuddin has set up the Selangor Football Gallery at Istana Alam Shah in Klang. Anyone visiting the gallery will be impressed with the collections owned by Sultan Sharafuddin.

Datuk Zakaria Abdul Rahman, the comptroller of the royal household, said the gallery was previously used for royal functions.

“The previous rulers hosted tea parties in conjunction with birthday celebrations. It was also used for stage shows. But the Sultan decided to convert the place into a gallery.

“The Sultan loves history and strongly believes that we can learn a lot from the past.

“And being a person with a strong passion for football, especially Selangor football, the Sultan wants future generations to know about Selangor’s football history. The younger generation must not forget great football players like Mokhtar Dahari, Soh Chin Aun, R. Arumugam, Ghani Minhat and many others. They had contributed to Selangor football,’’ said Zakaria.

The Sultan’s collections are unique and special. They include the Football Association of Selangor (FAS) letterheads, footballs signed by the Selangor players, trophies (Malaya Cup, Burnley Cup and Malaysia Cup) won by Selangor, newspaper clippings and pictures collected by the Sultan over the past 40 years, football jerseys of the Selangor team over the years.

At the entrance of the gallery is a red and yellow coloured Proton Saga which was used by the Sultan when he was the Raja Muda. Zakaria said the Sultan was a regular at the PKNS ground in Kelana Jaya where the Selangor team trained.

Zakaria said the Sultan’s most treasured collection was the jersey presented by Mokhtar in 1984.

“Mokhtar announced his retirement after the Malaysia Cup final that year. He presented the No. 10 jersey to the Sultan. The Sultan also has a jersey and pair of gloves from Arumugam. Other players had also presented their Malaysia Cup winners’ medals to the Sultan,’’ said Zakaria.

On display at the gallery is a jersey with Real Madrid star Ronaldo’s signature. A football signed by Brazilian legend Pele is also in the collection. Visitors to the gallery will be excited with a painting on the roof at the entrance.

Royal artist Azman Yusof spent almost two weeks to complete the painting.

Zakaria said it was great effort by the artist.

“He did the painting while lying on the ground. It really reflects the dedication of the artist,’’ he added.

Visitors to the gallery will get the chance to see all the memorabilia associated with the Sultan of Selangor’s Cup competition. Sultan Sharafuddin had initiated the competition in 2001 to foster better relations between Selangor and Singapore.

It was then known as the Regent of Selangor Cup. With the coronation of the Sultan in 2003, the competition was renamed as the Sultan of Selangor’s Cup. A match between the Selangor Veterans and their counterparts from Singapore will be the curtain raiser.

All the items — souvenir programme, tickets, medals, invitation cards, photographs and newspaper clippings related to the Sultan of Selangor’s Cup — are on display at the gallery.

Zakaria said the Sultan was thankful to the former Selangor players who had given their medals and jerseys to his collection.

“It will take pride of place in the gallery.

“The Sultan hopes the memorabilia will inspire the future generations of Selangor footballers,’’ said Zakaria.

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