THE death of former Malaysian footballer Serbegeth Singh is a huge loss to not only the sports fraternity but also the country. He was someone who always had the beautiful game close to his heart. I did not know him when he represented Malaysia as I was just a boy back then but I have heard of his exploits with the national team.
It was only when I became a broadcast sports journalist at a local network that I got to know the man a little more. It grew clear to me he was not only passionate about football but wholeheartedly dedicated to it on both the domestic and international fronts. He had a wealth of experience and was not stingy at all about sharing it.
His punditry and match commentary were, in my opinion, honest and on point. Shebby was never one to hold back his punches in his match comments and I clearly remember his pre-game previews and predictions were mostly spot-on.
Shebby never asked for much. He never shied away from an interview request. He kept his appointments and was never once late. It did not matter if the call was made in the wee hours of the morning or late in the evening. He did not complain and took it all in his stride.
He even committed to interviews and comments when he was overseas and had a busy and packed schedule. He was a true gentleman and a kind-hearted, down-to-earth person.
His death saddens me. We are all reminded of how fragile life is.
It is high time we show more appreciation for our local athletes, regardless if they have retired or brought home medals, for I am sure each and every one of them has given their best for our beloved Malaysia. Let us not forget them. Do not wait until it is too late.
I have lost a good friend. Rest in peace, Uncle Shebby. – January 14, 2022.
* Yeap Ming Liong reads The Malaysian Insight.