Mat Noh: The quiet gentleman who let his feet speak, Latest Singapore football news
He was shy about publicity, but he was often in the media spotlight for his silky footballing skills.
It was monosyllabic with answers, so you walked away with a lot of unanswered questions.
He preferred the low profile, always stepping away from journalists and photographers, in victory as in defeat.
In short, the gentleman footballer Mohamed Noh Hussein, famous for the Malaysian Cup, was a man of few words who liked to let his feet speak.
Sports fraternity superlatives poured into WhatsApp messages and chat group exchanges when Noh, 67, the stylish winger who dazzled the right flank of the national stadium and beyond, died of a seizure yesterday. cardiac.
Noh was a member of the national team for less than 10 years, resigning in 1981 after Singapore’s loss in the Malaysian Cup final to Selangor. But he left a legacy for posterity with his supreme ability and innate talent.
The special attention of the late legendary coach Choo Seng Quee has been a key element in honing his football skills.
He made high school star player Tanjong Katong (also a mainstay of the sepak takraw school) a national icon via clubs such as Burnley United, Singapore Marble and Toa Payoh United.
The sacred grounds of Farrer Park and Jalan Besar Stadium were the playgrounds for the Noh-Choo partnership to flourish, before Noh entered the national team in the mid-1970s and “lent his voice” to the deafening Kallang Roar.
Often hugging the right sideline as he performed his labyrinthine runs with the ball, his precise crosses were the primary source for forwards such as Dollah Kassim, Arshad Khamis and Quah Kim Song to poach goals.
Said Quah, 69, “He was a phenomenal winger, elegant in his movements and sensational in his deliveries.
“A calm gentleman on and off the pitch, he was a disciplined player who always gave his best.
“I salute him as an exemplary personality and a perfect national teammate.”
Samsudin Rahmat, 70, who played alongside Noh with the national team and the Singapore Malaysians, said: “He was the perfect role model for aspiring footballers. It was a manager’s pleasure because he never posed any problems.
“Always wise and among the first to train, Noh was a fast learner and was a great friend to his teammates.”
I had met Noh several times during his playing days, but never since he had retired from football had he even missed him at a social gathering for the Malaysia Cuppers because he had chosen to be reclusive.
He valued privacy, so he wasn’t a journalist’s pleasure in a way, because he didn’t give much.
In an interview outside Jalan Besar Stadium in the late 1970s, I walked away with little to report because I could barely get past the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ answers.
In fact, once in the office of The Straits Times, where he worked in marketing after his career at Malaysian Airlines System, I tried to strike up a conversation with him as a colleague. He was still reluctant, but there was a certain politeness in him.
However, volumes have been written about Noh – the Singaporean football poster – whose grandmother was Japanese – because he had an extraordinary talent that fascinated his opponents and courted crowds.
Nicknamed “Allan Clarke”, the home striker for Leeds United and of England fame, Noh is well remembered for scoring the game-winning goal from the penalty spot in the first round of a World Cup qualifier. against Malaysia on March 6, 1977.
This statistic becomes more striking, considering that he recorded more assists than goals.
Quah, often the recipient, will vouch for this because “Noh’s telepathic floats on the right flank have often been perfect.”
This special skill doesn’t make the headlines. The scorers catch them, and the calm Noh was happy to let the others take the limelight.