He's the man who made Kallang roar

SINGAPORE - He brought about the famous Kallang Roar.

The roar that "detonated" the National Stadium and frightened many opposing teams into submission.

But today, he lives in silence.

Alone in bed in the confines of a room, labelled "Peace" on the second floor of a nursing home off Bukit Timah - his abode since September last year.

Nadesan Ganesan, the former Football Association of Singapore (FAS) chairman (1974 to 1981) who was concurrently the team manager of the Malaysia Cup team, is mainly confined to bed and has a speech impediment.

But talk football, and his eyes light up and he murmurs names and events that have been chronicled in Singapore's footballing history.

"Gani", as he is popularly called, celebrated his 80th birthday almost two months ago at the Singapore Cricket Club, his famous stress-relieving haunt from the '60s to the '90s.

His buddies felt that it was apt that he celebrated his birthday there, once his second home.

The same buddies - lawyers, friends, relatives and football fans - occasionally drop in at the home to cheer Gani up, since he suffered from a stroke in March last year.

But it seems like it was only yesterday that he was a permanent fixture at the National Stadium, screaming his guts out or hailing his Malaysia Cup heroes.

His figure in an all-white attire is etched in the memories of players and fans for he was as imposing as the historic stadium.

Deep passion

He was a successful criminal lawyer until his deep passion for sport, and mainly football, took him away from his Central Building office at Havelock Road so very often that his law practice suffered.

A former club footballer and a good table tennis player, Gani enjoyed sport and he used to be regularly seen even at Inter-Constituency Games in the early '70s.

When he became involved in national football, he focused all his energy to the sport and elevated its status to an unprecedented high level.

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