Renaming road would be fitting tribute to footballer Majid Ariff

The call to have roads renamed to remember our notable pioneers and leaders is commendable (Can street be named after football legend Majid Ariff?, by Mr A. Thiyaga Raju, Feb 14 ; Rename roads to honour Singapore's leaders, by Mr Gopinath Menon, Feb 15; New road names should reflect locations, by Dr Yik Keng Yeong, Feb 16; Road-naming exercise should consider more than locations, by Dr V. Subramaniam, Feb 20).

Though there are already some names in evidence, perhaps much more can be done.

Naming one of the roads leading to the Jalan Besar Stadium after Majid Ariff, with an icon of a footballer beside his name, would be a well-deserved tribute to this son of Singapore.

Majid, who came from a humble background, sparked our national team in the 1960s with his remarkable dribbling skills and exciting talent, and drew thousands through the nondescript roads and lanes to the little Jalan Besar Stadium.

So immense was his popularity.

A legendary star during the Malaya Cup games, he also helpedSingapore to a 4th placing in the 1966 Asian Games - something we may never achieve again, considering our present performances.

He was also the only Singaporean player included in the Asian All-Stars team to face the mighty English teams of Fulham and Sheffield Wednesday - no mean feat during those times.

He brought honour to Singapore football when it was only a fledgling in Asian football.

A road named after Majid will affirm that sporting excellence that makes our nation proud will not sink into irrelevance.

George Pasqual

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 23, 2018, with the headline 'Renaming road would be fitting tribute to footballer Majid Ariff'. Subscribe