Rames ends 22-year service in pro league but still got the kick

PETALING JAYA: Rames Lai Ban Huat’s time in the Super League has finally come to an end after 22 long years but he is not leaving the sport.

The 43-year-old, who could have extended his record as the oldest player to have played in the top division, will leave Borneo club Kuching City. He turns 44 on April 8.

The Il Gatto (The Cats) announced that Rames is one of the 13 players who will be leaving the team.

Rames’ exit was a surprise as many expected the veteran to stay on as he played almost every minute in the team’s domestic campaign last season.And despite his advancing years, he is one of the fittest in the league with his runs and defending.

Rames, though, is unperturbed, and when asked if he is considering retirement, he replied, “I’m not that old yet.”

“I am fit and strong and I know I have a few more years in me. I am not quitting the sport.

“I may not get a chance to play in the Super League again but I can tell you that I have received offers from clubs playing in the M3.

“I am deliberating those offers and will see what is the best fit for me.”

Rames made his professional debut in 2002 when he played for Melaka Telekom and since then played for clubs like KL Plus, Felda United, Sarawak and then Kuching City, where he played from 2019.

He admitted that he did not expect to be playing professionally until his 40s, but knows that his work off the field has helped him a lot.

“I did not expect it for sure but looking at my condition and the way I’ve been taking care of myself, I guess that’s why I’m here until now. Playing in the Premier and Super League for 22 years is a blessing.

“What I have achieved to date is because of discipline and the love for the game. I love this game so much.

“Even as I got older, people asked how long I could continue and I just said see me on the field.

“Now, if I am taking on an offer from an M3 side, I for sure want to impart my knowledge to the youngsters. I did that with Kuching City and I will continue doing that for any side that I am in.”

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