Football: Former Singapore goalkeeper Ahmad Wartam, father of Fandi, dies

Ahmad Wartam, on behalf of his son Fandi Ahmad, receives the Footballer of the Year trophy at the annual Soccer Ball from then Law Minister E W Barker in 1982. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
Ahmad Wartam, on behalf of his son Fandi Ahmad, receives the Footballer of the Year trophy at the annual Soccer Ball from then Law Minister E W Barker in 1982. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
Former national goalkeeper Ahmad Wartam (third from left) with his son, Fandi Ahmad (right), and grandsons (from left) Irfan and Ikhsan in 2006. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
Former national goalkeeper Ahmad Wartam (third from left) with his son, Fandi Ahmad (right), and grandsons (from left) Irfan and Ikhsan in 2006. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

Former Singapore goalkeeper Ahmad Wartam, the father of Fandi Ahmad, died on Saturday morning.

Ahmad, 79, was hospitalised in intensive care at Tan Tock Seng Hospital last month for heart and lung problems.

Former national captain and current LionsXII coach Fandi has always credited his father as the inspiration behind him picking up the sport. In his childhood, he would wake up at 5.30am in the morning to jog with Ahmad. Fandi's first football boots were bought by his father on hire purchase.

Ahmad actually started his football career as a fleet-footed left-winger before a knee injury forced him to pick up the goalkeeper's gloves. At his peak, he was even among Singapore's top five sprinters for the 100 yards in the 1960s, along with Kesavan Soon and the late Ernest Frida.

But he excelled between the sticks as well. He kept goal for Singapore from 1963-1969 and played in the 1967 Malaysia Cup final, which Perak won 2-1.

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