Twenty years after the accident that not only ended his footballing career but also left him paralysed, former Singapore national winger S. Anthonysamy died yesterday with his beloved wife Keralin Mary by his side.
Anthonysamy, who represented the Lions in 1989, was 51. He was suffering from a chest infection and had been warded at the Singapore General Hospital since last Friday.
Anthonysamy's elder brother S. Pushpanathan, 53, said: "He's one of the most hard-working and dedicated players I've ever seen.
"All of us used to play soccer, but he's the only one who's got the talent to go far and to make it to the national team."
In a sad coincidence, yesterday was also national caretaker coach V. Sundramoorthy's 51st birthday. Both were team-mates at S-League side Woodlands Wellington in 1996 and were friends.
Sundram said: "He's a speedy winger, (he's) daring, a good team player, he goes in for the tackles. He's a down-to-earth person, helpful and caring.
"It's a sad day for me, he had to pass on my birthday."
Anthonysamy was paralysed from the neck down in a friendly match on Sept 3, 1996. He had tackled Mubin Mokhtar and the Selangor player landed with his full weight on him, breaking two vertebrae near the neck and paralysing him since.
The wake will be held at the void deck of Block 275, Yishun Street 22, today. A service will be held at the Church of Our Lady Star of the Sea tomorrow afternoon before the cortege leaves for the crematorium.
A minute of silence will be observed before the Singapore-Malaysia match today at the National Stadium.
Correction note: The story was edited to correct the address for the wake, which will be at Block 275, Yishun Street 22. We are sorry for the error.