Former ST sports journalist Joe Dorai dies of lung failure, aged 77

Joe Dorai, 77, the former Straits Times sports journalist died yesterday morning of lung failure.
Joe Dorai, 77, the former Straits Times sports journalist died yesterday morning of lung failure.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - He is widely-regarded as the journalist who delivered news of the Singapore national football team's exploits in the Malaysia Cup on both sides of the Causeway during the 1970s and the 1980s.

The golden age of Singapore football, the birth of the Kallang Roar, the intense rivalry with Selangor, and the unforgettable Malaysia Cup triumphs of 1977 and 1980 - Joe Dorai has covered them all.

The former Straits Times sports journalist died yesterday morning of lung failure. He was 77, and leaves behind wife Mary, three children, a godson and a granddaughter.

Dorai joined the paper in 1958 as a production worker and later contributed football reports.

In 1968, he became a full-fledged sports reporter, earning $260 a month, including a transport allowance, and covered Singapore football's peaks and troughs until he left Singapore Press Holdings in 1998.

He then worked at Singapore Pools as deputy president of sports betting until his retirement in 2015.

Friends and colleagues remembered him as a passionate football journalist, who would work seven days a week just to chase down a "scoop".

His reporting antics were so widely known that the late Football Association of Singapore (FAS) chairman N. Ganesan had called Dorai "Cockroach" for his ability to crawl up from somewhere and write a story.