Singapore couple, whose daughter died in Sabah quake, make emotional trip to White Hart Lane

Mr Jaidipsinh Jhala and his wife Karen next to a table filled with photos, trophies and other items belonging to their daughter Sonia that was put up in the living room of their home.
Mr Jaidipsinh Jhala and his wife Karen next to a table filled with photos, trophies and other items belonging to their daughter Sonia that was put up in the living room of their home.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - It was an emotional trip to White Hart Lane last weekend for Singaporean Jaidipsinh Jhala and his wife Karen as they watched their beloved Tottenham Hotspur face Stoke City.

This was the first time that the couple had travelled to the north London club and the visit had special significance for them as they had gone to England in memory of their daughter Sonia, who was an avid Spurs fan.

The 12-year-old was among seven pupils from Tanjong Katong Primary School who died during the June 5 earthquake which struck Mount Kinabalu, Sabah.

Her parents had promised Sonia that they would see White Hart Lane before the ground was demolished to make way for the new stadium.

They received a personal letter of condolence from manager Mauricio Pochettino and together with several members of the Singapore Spurs Supporters' club, the couple were given a tour of the grounds and also met former Spurs captain Ledley King, which almost brought Jaidipsinh to tears.

Said the 48-year-old: "No words can describe what we have gone though. We'll treasure it for the rest of our lives. It's been overwhelming and it shows a lot about the club."

Added his wife Karen: "We are really grateful to the club, to AIA and the Singapore Spurs Supporters' club. We will definitely be back when the new stadium is built."

jonwong@sph.com.sg