Looking back at 100
Years of Singapore soccer
The New Paper, Nov 21, 1992
Quah Kim Song does an acrobatic feat by
lifting himself off the ground to send in a scorching
header in the fourth minute to give Singapore a
bright start in last night's Malaysia Cup final.
1892 - 1992
SINGAPORE soccer's earliest beginnings recorded on
August 29, 1892, with the founding of the Singapore
Amateur Football Association, the governing body of
soccer before the turn of the century.
BIRTH of the HMS Malaya Cup. Singapore won first Cup
final on Oct 1, 1921, with a 2-1 win over Selangor in
Kuala Lumpur. Both teams fielded a good number of
FIRST Malaya Cup final to be played in Singapore, at
the now defunct Anson Road Stadium. Singapore beat
Selangor 2-1 to be the first team to win the trophy
three times in a row.
A CROWD of 10,000 packed the Anson Road Stadium to
watch Singapore score the biggest Malaya Cup final
win -- an 8-2 thrashing of Selangor. Chia Keng Hock
scored a hat-trick.
LEAGUE soccer gains popularity as expatriate teams
like Royal Air Force and Marines were matched by the
top local clubs -- Argonauts, Darul Afiah, Haikowyu,
Joyful Indians, Pasir Panjang Rovers, Jollilads,
Chinese Athletic, Indian Brotherhood and Tiger
THE late Soh Ghee Soon is the longest serving
president of the Singapore Amateur Football
Association -- from the early 1950's to 1963. Also a
former Vice-president of the Asian Football
SKIPPER Harith Omar is chaired as he holds the Malaya
Cup in 1951. Singapore beat Perak 6-1.
SKIPPER Lee Kok Seng with the Malaya Cup, which
Singapore won by beating Perak 2-0.
QUAH Kim Swee leads Singapore to fourth-place in the
Asian Games in Bangkok -- the best international
soccer achievement this century. Singapore lost
bronze medal (2-0) to Japan.
GEORGE Suppiah becomes first Singapore soccer referee
to officiate in the 1974 World Cup finals in West
Germany. His career record: 43 international 'A'
matches from 1953 to 1978.
The eight-year chairmanship of lawyer Nadesan
Ganesan, from 1974 to 1981, will probably go down in
history as one of Singapore soccer's best eras. The
Kallang Roar drove Singapore to two Malaysia Cup
successes -- in 1977 and 1980.
MAJOR breakthrough in National Football League (NFL),
which was revamped from 118 clubs to 30. Geylang
International wins top honours in the first three
DOLLAH Kassim (right) hoists Malaysia Cup after
Singapore beat Penang 3-2 in extra-time. Quah Kim
Song netted the winner. Coach: Choo Seng Quee.
LAUNCH of the Lion City Cup, hailed by FAS chairman N
Ganesan as the only Under-16 soccer tournament in the
world. It paved the way, at FIFA's request, for a
World Youth U-16 tournament in China in 1985.
ON June 28, coach Jita Singh (bottom) emulates Choo
Seng Quee's feat three years earlier with a Malaysia
Cup final victory -- a 2-1 win over defending
champion Selangor. Fandi Ahmad, 17, scored the
SINGAPORE out of the Malaysia Cup for the first time
Cup, Singapore's first soccer international, is
"UNCLE" Choo Seng Quee (left), arguably the
greatest post-war coach in Malaysia and Singapore,
FIRST foreign players for Singapore team -- Yugoslavs
Josko Spanjic and Boris Lucic.
AN all-time record crowd of 22,071 paid a record
$58,000 on Feb 15 to watch the Premier League's
"Battle of the Giants" between Geylang
International and Tiong Bahru CSC, which ended 0-0.
GEYLANG International wins the Premier League title
for record fifth season, bringing its tally to eight
since the domestic league was revamped in 1975.
SINGAPORE goes down to Division Two of the Malaysia
Cup Semi-Pro League for the first time since the
competition started in 1921.
Pennefather: Extraordinary left-back of the 1920's.
Renown for his vision and powerful kicks that set his
Lim Yong Liang: The first true star
striker of Singapore whose deadly finishing saw him
dominate the late 1920's and early 30's. Coached
Singapore in the 1930's.
Dolfatah: Brilliant 1930's
inside-forward whose fancy footwork, eye for openings
and prolific scoring made him one of the most
respected forwards in the region.
The original Bomber reigned from the mid-30's to in
the War years. Tall, big and strong, his shots were
unsavable. A hat-trick specialist.
name spelt terror in the 1950's. An opportunist
striker with unorthodox shooting and heading. He did
nothing but score -- from any angle.
"Twinkletoes" was rated as the best
inside-left in Malaya and China in the 50's.
Unselfish creator of goals -- mostly for Awang Bakar
Rahim Omar: Classic
striker of the 60's. A wizard blessed with deft
skill, thunderbolt shots and pace. Acclaimed as first
banana specialist in the region.
Speed demon of the 1960's whose fearless
flying headers had left him with long scar on his
forehead till today. Most feared winger in his time.
Midfield mastermind of the 60's. His
flawless distribution was always incisive and
penetrative. Only S'porean to represent Asian
Acclaimed as greatest post-war centre-half
and captain of all captains. Singapore skipper for 11
years times from late 1950's to mid 60's.
Quah Kim Song: (See photo above right)
Darling of the 70's. Fast, fearless and
quick-thinking winger who wreaked havoc in the
penalty area. Last and most famous of the footballing
Kassim: (As pictured left) Dribbler extraordinare of
the 70s. The "Gelek" king could take on
three, four, five men in one breath-taking sweep.
Superb pace and acceleration.
Idol of the 80's. Talented finisher whose acrobatic
volleys and instinctive style make him a living
legend. Acclaimed as God's gift to football.