Saturday, December 26, 2009

Long Rahim and the 1957 squad

Whenever loose cannon touches base with his clan from Singapore, the one topic that will be discussed intensely is of course, football, what else.

It was always a joyous occasion each time loose cannon was dispatched to cover games across the Causeway either for a Malaysia Cup tie or an international match in the mid-90s. Loose cannon travelled by bus, train and air for the opportunity not only to work but also catch up with relatives.

When Singapore beat Selangor in the first leg of 1994 Malaysia Cup semi-final before a packed stadium in Kallang, a busload of loose cannon's relatives made plans to travel to Shah Alam for the final.

Missing from the rombongan, however, was Long Rahim. His eyesight had deteriorated by then.

Long Rahim used to regal loose cannon with his footballing exploits.

"Riz, Long nak bilang, Long dulu pernah main sama Arthur Koh dalam Merdeka Tournament."

But belonging to the generation that grew up reading about Samad Allapitchay, Quah Kim Song, Dollah Kassim and Fandi Ahmad, Long Rahim's generation was way below loose cannon's radar.

Long Rahim passed away in 2000, much to loose cannon's regret for not having grabbed the chance to delve into the past.

It was only in 2001, while busy researching ahead of the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, that loose cannon discovered a souvenir programme of the 1981 Merdeka Tournament. The commemorative programme had pen-sketches of all the teams since 1957 and imagine to loose cannon's pleasant surprise, Long Rahim's picture was there. He was a member of Singapore's squad that competed in the inaugural tournament, all those years ago.

Al-Fatihah buat Long Rahim. May he rest in peace in the eternal gardens of paradise.

Loose cannon's clan from Singapore gather at Man's place at Taman Equine

That's Arthur Koh at the bottom, right, while Long Rahim on the left

Long Miah, Long Rahim's widow, has remarried and now resides in Perth with Long Rahmat

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