Close your eyes.
Imagine Dollah Kassim standing before a ball in the National Stadium- about to take a free kick.
If you cannot picture him with his classic “arms akimbo” pose, I can bet that you were not at any Malaysia Cup match of the 1970’s.
Boys of my vintage derived immense pleasure from thronging to the Kallang arena weekend after weekend to watch the likes of Dollah Kassim whip the minnows of Malaysia in the only sports event that mattered- the Malaysia Cup.
Perlis, Johor,Malacca,Negri Sembilan were cannon fodder for Dollah and the gang. Only Selangor and occasionally Penang were any match for us.
If my memory does not fail me, the gang included:
Eric Paine (goalie); Hasli Ibrahim and Syed Mutalib (both capable of breaking legs) ; Seak Poh Leong (Captain); Robert Sim;Samad Allapitchay; “Camel” Rajagopal; Quah Kim Song; Quah Kim Lye;"baby-faced" Mohamed Noh and of course Dollah Kassim. (addendum 6.10.09 5.40am- "Terry" Pathmanathan was inevitably left out. Apologies)
Their Malaysian nemesis were giants like "spiderman" Arumugam; Santokh Singh;"Towkay" Soh Chin Aun;Mokhtar Dahari;Shukoh Salleh and Isa Bakar.Filling the Kallang cauldron with 50000 or more screaming adulating fans was a “given” every weekend. The coach was of course the wheelchair-bound Choo Seng Quee who would start each training session with the national anthem.
Dollah, thanks for the memories.
Our prayers are with you and we hope that you can overcome the biggest “match” yet. You have beaten the odds before and you can do it again.
Your faithful fan,
Dr Huang Shoou Chyuan
Singapore football legend Dollah still in critical condition (Today 5th Oct 2009)
SINGAPORE: Singapore's football legend Dollah Kassim is still unconscious and in a critical condition after suffering a heart attack at Sunday's Sultan of Selangor Cup veterans game. Paramedics had to resuscitate Dollah before he arrived in hospital and the 60-year-old underwent an emergency angioplasty procedure to unclog blocked arteries on Sunday night. Dollah is warded in the Intensive Care Unit at the Tan Tock Seng Hospital. He is hooked up to machines and his breathing assisted by breathing machines. His family has requested the doctors not to reveal too much at this point in time.