Talking about this year’s World Cup games, I only watched 3 games in all during the entire series of games which spanned over 1 ½ months.
If readers should feel that I am not interested in the game, they you are all sadly mistaken. Although didn’t end up representing the state or country, I played lots of football in my younger days while in Primary School at Angle Chinese School (ACS), Klang.
In fact, yours sincerely, was the football captain of my school team then. For your information, I went on playing football for my school until I completed my secondary education in Form 5.
What finally changed my view on football eventually? Do you really want to know the reason?
Well, for years I have kept silent about it. Football, in fact was my entire life. I lived for it then. As a poor boy, whose father was a lorry driver, going to school to me in those days was actually to play football, if nothing else.
As a school boy, I knew of famous footballers such as Stanley Matthews (Blackpool), Gordon Banks (England), Pele and his famous “banana kicks”, Eusebio of Spain, later Maradona of Argentina, Frank Benkenbauer of Germany, Awang Bakar of Singapore, Mokhtar Dahari of Malaysia, Arumugam of Selangor state and the Royal Air Force (RAF) team which was stationed at the Pandamaran old airport in Port Klang.
I can still vividly recall local football teams such as Dynamos, Shell, Wah Yew, Bukit Raja Estate, Highland Estate and Hong Chin, who were all paying in the Klang District Football Tournament in the 1950s and 1960s.
But coming to the question of why I finally came to the decision of giving up football, I reached Form Four then, my football master Mr. Muthaiah, who was was incidentally from Burma, insisted that I wear boots instead of playing football barefoot or berkaki ayam.
As a very poor school boy then, I could not afford to purchase a pair of football boots then. Yes, boots were only RM15 to RM20 then. But to tell you the truth, for me, there was no way I could have afforded to buy the boots in those days.
I remember the frequent times I used to borrow my senior’s football Adidas boots every time I was faced with a school game. I can still even recall my senior’s name today. He was none other than Mr. Eugene Fernandez. Mr. Fernandez, today, I understand is a well known solicitor in town.
One other person I used to borrow football boots from was my primary football master himself, Mr. Kon Thean Soong from Kuala Lumpur. I used to wait for hours at the windows of my football master’s rented room at Jalan Melawis, Klang, just to borrow his boots for the day’s match.
Even though football was my ardent love, unfortunately, I could not bear the thought of not being able to afford buying a pair of football boots to indulge in the game that I love so much in my younger days. This finally broke my heart for the game, I finally decided to give it all up.
Eventually, I switched to playing volleyball and badminton which I performed rather well in my upper secondary school days.
To end this reminences of my younger days with the game of football, permit me to tell you that during the last World Cup series, I made it a point to watch a few interesting games. Maybe it was because of my love for the game which made me do that.
I saw the Argentina versus England game. As an English medium school boy, studying at the ACS Klang formerly, I have always gone all out to support England when they play. I also saw how the English captain’s goal which rebounded at least 2 feet behind the goal line was disallowed by the referee.
If England had drawn 2-2 with Argentina that night, maybe, they would done better and eventually have beaten Argentina. But, they lost 4-1. Better luck to England in the next World Cup in 2014.
And yes, I also stayed up until 2:30 am when the finals were played between Spain and the Netherlands. I shall not delve into the above game. I’m sure many have witnessed this game. But the goal that was scored after the half-time break was a beautifully executed goal, nonetheless. Congratulation to Spain! After a 100 years wait, you have finally emerged as the 2010 World Cup champion.