UPDATED, 7.00am Aug 28, 2009
Only months after the football fraternity mourned the sudden demise of Mohd Nazri Abdullah, the country has lost another prominent man-in-black, Kapten Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid.
Referee Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh broke the news to loose cannon a short while ago.
"I was informed that Kapt Halim passed away at the Kangar Hospital around 9.20pm due to complications relating to his spinal cord."
Halim who was an assistant referee at the FIFA World Cup in France'98, was 47. He leaves behind wife Wan Manirah Wan Mustafa and four children, Nur Alya Haifa, Mohd Shah Iskandar, Nurul Aisya and Hani Hilmi.
According to former referee, Jaflus Musa, Halim was not well in recent months due to back problems.
"When we had a refereeing course in Ipoh two weeks ago, I literally had to drag him everywhere. According to the doctors, the cause of death was spinal cord compression."
Halim was the assistant referee when Kim Milton Nielsen sent David Beckham off after the incident with Diego Simeone in the famous England-Argentina clash in St Etienne. Simeone later admitted he conned the referee into the decision.
To Halim's family who lost their loved one during the holy month of Ramadan, our deepest and heartfelt condolences.