Ex-Penang coach Yoke Ham passes away

PETALING JAYA: Penang’s Moey Yoke Ham, fondly known as the wily silver-haired fox during his glory days as the state football coach, passed away at the age of 76.

Yoke Ham, who died at the Penang General Hospital yesterday, brought the smiles back to fans in the late 90s.

After helming the team in 1997, he led the Islanders to the Premier League One title in 1998. Penang also finished runners-up in the 1997 FA Cup and 1999 Premier I.

It was during this period that the likes of Moroccan striker Merzagua Abderrazak, Malian midfielder Ballamadou Conde and locals – defender Ooi Hoe Guan, midfielders Moey Kok Hong and R. Suresh Kumar and striker Domi Che Non – gained prominence for their performances under Yoke Ham.

Among the players under his watch were current Penang assistant coach Manzoor Azwira Abdul Wahid, Hasmawi Hassan and Abdul Rahim Hassan.

Fondly known as Uncle Moey among fans and players, he went on to coach Home United in Singapore before retiring.

Manzoor described the passing of Yoke Ham as a great loss to the state and he should be remembered as one of the greatest coaches Penang have ever had.

“He was a great coach during his time and brought several achievements. He was also known as a coach who liked to bring young players into the senior team and mould them to become good players,” said Manzoor.

Manzoor said even after retirement, Yoke Ham always came to see the players and gave him good advice on how to guide the Penang team.

Yoke Ham’s daughter Mi Lin, 45, described him as “a cheerful man who did not show any signs of illness”.

Mi Lin said her father died as a result of bleeding in the brain after falling at his residence in Batu Lan-chang in George Town.

“My mother phoned to tell me that my dad, who had fallen down at home and was unconscious, had been taken to the Penang Hospital for further checks.

“Since I live in Petaling Jaya (Selangor), I will call him daily, but he never showed any signs of being ill. In fact, he would joke with me as usual,” said Mi Lin when contacted by Bernama yesterday.

She said that his remains would be cremated at the Batu Gantung Crematorium on Sunday.

Yoke Ham leaves behind his wife Lee Siew Koon, 70, and two children, Mi Lin and son Khai Boon, 43.

Meanwhile, the Penang Football Club, through their official PFC Facebook page, said the former coach would always be fondly remembered for guiding the state to winning the 1998 Premier League I (now Super League) title.

He was the Penang head coach from 1996-2000 and was also involved in coaching club and youth teams in the state.

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