Farewell Shebby Singh


THE passing of former Malaysian footballer Serbegeth “Shebby” Singh is a huge loss not only to the fraternity but also the country. He was someone who always had the beautiful game close to his heart.

I did not know him when he represented Malaysia in the 1980s and early 1990s as I was a still a boy then, but I heard of his exploits with the national team.

It was only when I was a broadcast journalist attached to the sports desk at a local network that I got to know the man a little more.

It became clear to me he was someone who was not only passionate about but also dedicated wholeheartedly to football, both on the local and international fronts. He had a wealth of experience and was not stingy about sharing it.

His punditry and match commentary were, in my opinion, honest and on point. Shebby was never one to pull his punches in his match comments and I remember clearly his pre-match previews and predictions were mostly spot on.

Shebby never shied away from an interview request. And he always kept to the pre-arranged scheduled time and was never once late.

It did not matter if the call was made in the wee hours of the morning or late in the evening. He never complained and took it all in his stride.

He even made himself available to local journalists for interviews and comments when he was overseas and had a busy and packed schedule. In my opinion, he was a true gentleman and a kind-hearted, down-to-earth person.

It saddened me to learn about his passing on Wednesday. Perhaps everyone is still coming to terms with the news, as I am, and reminded about how fragile life is.

It is high time we show more appreciation to all our local athletes regardless if they have retired or brought home medals, for I am sure each and every one of them gave or had given their best for Malaysia. Let us not forget them. Do not wait until it is too late.

I have lost a good friend. Rest in peace, Uncle Shebby.

YEAP MING LIONG

Subang Jaya

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