Thursday, October 14, 2010

The "Gelek King" has sadly left us.

Received this piece of news online. Dollah Kassim
our great "Gelek King" has passed away. Below is the report.

Singapore Straits Times online.
Home > Breaking News > Singapore > Story
Oct 14, 2010
Dollah Kassim dies
By Sanjay Nair

Dollah Kassim, otherwise known as the 'Gelek King', has died at 61

SINGAPORE football icon Dollah Kassim has died after being in a coma for a year.
He was 61.
Known for his superlative dribbling skills, the 'Gelek King' suffered a heart attack in October last year during a friendly match between ex-international players from Singapore and Malaysia.
According to doctors, he sustained an injury due to a lack of oxygen to his brain immediately after the collapse.
He had been in a coma since then and was cared for at home.

In the 1975 Malaysia Cup, the 'Gelek King' dribbled past five defenders from the halfway line, rounded the 'keeper and scored against Pahang, helping Singapore to a 6-0 thumping.
From 1968 to 1979, Dollah formed a hypnotic combination - first with Quah Kim Lye, then especially with his younger brother, Quah Kim Song - to light up the National Stadium in the 1970s.
Unk Dicko's comments:
Yes, I was at that game between Singapore and Pahang in 1975, described in the last para. When Dollah and his merry men ruled the soccer field back in those truly great days of Singapore soccer, like the thousands out there, I hardly missed any of those M'sia Cup matches. Looking back at the array of talent and wonderful players in S'pore colours, no matter which way I look today, there will always be only ONE Gelek King....Dollah Kassim.
The word "gelek" roughly translates to mean " a swig of the hips ". It is more commonly used to describe the way in which some ladies and nonyas ( Peranakan) sway their hips seductively when walking ( geleking ). Not many footballers or for that matter other sportsmen have this innate ability of deceptive gait. So is this a strength to possess?
Definitely so!
You cannot develop or carbon copy this if you haven't got the natural tendency in the first place.
No other player possess it to the extent of Dollah's.
Truly, he and only he alone deserves this "King of Gelek" title in our local context.
The only one who has come close, to me, is Lionel Messi...currently best player for Barcelona Football Club. Even then, I would place Messi 2nd to Dollah...that's my unbiased judgement having seen both in action.
Unk Dicko was a personal friend of Dollah's elder brother Ahmad Kassim. Ahmad looked almost like Dollah except that he wore a pair of spectacles in the late 80's. Ahmad and his daughter were members of our Serangoon Gardens Sing Singapore Champion Winning Group of 1988...that was led by yours truly. ( I have not blogged about this historic event yet. There are
pics of Ahmad Kassim and his daughter - Dollah's niece ).
Singapore has lost one of its greatest football heroes with his passing.
Unk Dicko and wife send our deepest condolences to the family.
May he rest in peace and may he never be forgotten for the joy he had brought to us.
I have a few special blogposts with original news clippings and photos about the
Malaysia Cup 1977 and about our unforgettable Dollah. Click HERE.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Sir for the info... Did'nt know that Uncle Dollah had an elder brother...
Take care and hope to see you soon!

unk Dicko said...

Thanks, in many ways Ahmad was similar to Dollah. Both were very soft-spoken and gentlemanly in character and personality.

Anonymous said...

Dollah Kassim was part of that era of Singapore football that brought so much joy to Singaporeans of all races. I remember the electricity of Malaysia Cup games. We were truly one country in the National Stadium, with the Kallang Roar. I miss those days. Dollah was truly exceptional. I would use the same epithet that was used for Bill Shankly. Dollah 'made the people happy!' Rest in peace, Dollah!

unk Dicko said...

In today's Straits Times 15 oct, Jeffery Low a former veteran M'sia Cup reporter writes a glowing tribute to Dollah. If anyone missed that report, I'll try to do a special post with it..soon.

Anonymous said...

Correction. The game against Pahang which you mentioned that Dollah dribbled past 5 players and scored was not a 6-0 score but 2-0, the first goal which was scored by Mat Noh.

The 6-0 drubbing of Pahang happened in the 1976 Malaysia Cup semi-final at the National Stadium.

unk Dicko said...

Thank you Anon for pointing out the error which was in the original S Times report by writer Sanjay Nair.
You are certainly correct !