Farewell, Gelek King

Dollah Kassim, the legendary Gelek King, passed away on October 14, just over a year after collapsing during a veterans’ game. He was 61.

Among those who came to pay their respects were (below, from left) former Singapore internationals Rahmat Mawar, Malek Awab, Quah Kim Lye and Samad Allapitchay. They are all older men now.

I miss them. They and Dollah gave me and thousands of others such immense pleasure. We were in school then and football frenzy was part of our lives.

Football was different in those days. We were transfixed by Dollah’s dribbling skills. His name resonated around the National Stadium whenever he took to the field. Most memorable must surely be 1977 when Singapore beat Penang 3-2 in extra time, with Dollah hoisting the Malaysia Cup in victory.

Those where indeed the golden days of Singapore football.

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