Analysis

The Godfather’s Midas touch on Alam Shah could reignite Singapore football

Teo Hock Seng’s insistence on Noh Alam Shah returning to help Singapore football may just be the Midas touch to reignite the ailing sport in the Lion City.

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Ask for a loan of S$70,000 from your closest sibling or best friend and they will probably stare back at you desperately looking for the best line of rejection. But for Mr. Teo Hock Seng, this was exactly what he did without hesitation when a former Singapore striker’s brother got into trouble with the law and needed to post bail.

The man in question is one of Singapore’s most feared strikers of all time, Noh Alam Shah. Some remember him for the seven goals he scored in one game against Laos while others simply adore him for his feisty character on the pitch and daredevil persona which at times got him into serious spats with opponents.

Alam Shah, who turned 38 this week has led a charmed life and always seemed to have “Boss” as Teo is affectionately known, to be his guardian angel, since the former Tampines Rovers boss brought him to the club from Sembawang Rangers in 2003.

Throughout his trophy-laden career, Alam Shah was involved in controversies but never once did Boss give up on his player. Even towards the end of his playing career in 2015 when Alam Shah was spotted working as a private-car hire driver, Teo stepped forward and offered him a job at Komoco Motors’ car leasing department as an operations executive.

Just when Alam Shah thought it was time to “leave his football memories behind”, Teo once again cajoled the ex-Arema Malang forward to lace up his boots and return to the Singapore national team, as a player mentor.