Former hockey stars put on classy performance

  • Community Sports
  • Tuesday, 22 Oct 2019

Some of the players from SMK Sultan Yussuf in Batu Gajah at the hockey reunion.

ABOUT 70 friends and former schoolmates gathered in conjunction with Malaysia Day to play hockey and reminisce about the good old days.

The players from the 1970s, ‘80s, ‘90s and early 2000s from the small town of Batu Gajah, 20km from Ipoh, came from as far as Melaka, Penang and Klang Valley.

Most of them learnt the intricacies of the game at the Sultan Yussuf School in Batu Gajah, which was also the alma mater of the late Sultan Azlan Shah.

Sultan Azlan Shah also played hockey for the school, which was then known as the Government English School.

The match was held at the KTM AstroTurf Stadium in Batu Gajah.

Players above 40 years made up one side, and those below 40 comprised the opposing team. The score finished 4-3 in favour of the senior team.

Interestingly, Batu Gajah, and in particular SMK Sultan Yussuf, has produced many hockey greats who went on to represent the national team and several state teams.

Among the notable players are Olympians Sri Shanmuganathan and Anthony D’Cruz.

Former national players Datuk Mohandass Nair, V. Maniam, Kamarulzaman Karim, Junior World Cup players Christopher Lye, A. Vijian, K. Ravindran are all from Batu Gajah.

National trainees Khaw Hock Siang, Mohd Anuar Mushadat, Satvinder Singh and A. Ramesh are also former students of SMK Sultan Yussuf.

The number of hockey players seems to be dwindling but K. Yogeswaran, who coaches the Perak state team, has taken the responsibility to nurture younger players from the school in hopes of keeping the hockey tradition alive.

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