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Entries for September 2007

The National Stadium during the 1993 SEA Games (photo:SSC)
“The brick-red track at the National Stadium was new, the grandstand crowd was noisy. The setting was out of this world.”
- Alan Koh, 1983 SEA games bronze medalist (4x100m), talking about the 1975 National Schools Track and Field Championships
“I had some great moments at the National Stadium. The atmosphere during Malaysia Cup matches was fantastic. The matches we often played to capacity crowds, and when you realize that 60,000 people are crammed into a 55,000-seat stadium and fans are even sitting on the steps and walls, you can only draw inspiration and motivation from that. The Kallang Roar and the orchestrated singing during the Kallang Wave were two elements that brought out the best in me and my team-mates. So it was a bitter pill whenever we lost a match, because we felt that we had let our supporters down.”
- Former Singapore soccer captain Terry Pathmanan who played for Singapore from 1978 to 1992.
“The National Stadium is close to my heart. I always enjoyed playing there. The big crowds were a sight to behold. The fans were tremendous. The matches were interesting. And the stadium built dreams, not just for players but the spectators as well.”
- Fandi Ahmad
“That was an emotional match. I remember that I scored. That goal was for the fans who had supported and backed me from when I was a scrawny schoolboy player.”
- Fandi Ahmad, at his last competitive match at the National Stadium in a testimonial for David Lee, Malek Awab and himself.
“I won’t miss the National Stadium structure. The concrete means little to me, and maybe it is time we had a major sports facility. The object can be replaced. But I will certainly miss what the stadium provided - those happy memories of huge crowds cheering, the football we played, the friends we made and the tremendous atmosphere we enjoyed during the Malaysia Cup days.”
- Quah Kim Song, former national player and now football administrator.
“For almost nine months of the year, there was at least one game every ten days at the National Stadium, and you cannot quantify what it brought to the country in terms of people-bonding, racial harmony and inter-nation friendship. The Kallang Roar silenced everything else. And its echoes resonated with a young nation’s spirit and sentiment; that of facing challenges and overcoming adversity with the might of togetherness. A big story, in fact, if you believe that pictures tell a thousand words.”
- Jerry Seh, former award-winning newspaper photographer, who was a permanent fixture behind the goal at soccer matches in the National Stadium.
 “My first visit to the National Stadium after its official opening on 21 July 1973 was to watch my daughter Carol winning a medal in a 400m event in a school meet, before a crowd of about 600. My last visit was in August 2001 when Manchester United played Singapore before a crowd of 65,000. I wore a Man U T-shirt, as did almost 90% of the crowd. But we were all cheering for Singapore… and I smiled as I remembered the Lion’s roar in its prime in the 1970s. The National Stadium was officially closed on 30 June 2007, but the Kallang Roar still echoes in the minds of the tens of thousands who were fortunate to be there when it was at its loudest and proudest.”
- David Kraal
“By the time the National Stadium came about in 1973, I had retired from playing national soccer, but I used to watch matches there, and thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere and national passion and pride. Later, as coach of the national team, it was always a tremendous feeling sitting on the pitch and watching Singaporeans thoroughly enjoying themselves. There is nothing like sports, especiall soccer, to bring the nation together.”
- Robin Chan, 63, former international and ex-Singapore coach who took the Lions to Malaysia Cup runners-up spot in 1990.
“It has become a part of my life. During football season, I’m here even on weekends. So I will definitely miss those happy moments.”
- Hussein Mophit, SSC Groundsman
“We cannot relive those times. I used to enjoy watching Quah Kim Song, S. Rajagopal, Nasir Jalil and Dollah Kassim at soccer matches then. I miss those good times.”
- Eileen Boey, Sports Management Division, SSC
“I will miss it: where Singaporeans let their hair down. It also gave Singaporeans many heartwarming moments, especially during the Malaysia Cup matches. And I will always remember when my B division boys emerged champions at the National Schools Championships in 1975.”
- C. Kunalan
“It was terrific to win the SEA games discus gold. During the event in the morning, there weren’t that many people around. But I still raised my game to be crowned king of Southeast Asia. And the victory was better felt during the prize presentation in the evening, when the stadium was almost full. Hearing the strains of Majulah Singapura when I stood on the main podium gave me a deeper sense of patriotism. The crowd was truly appreciative of my effort, although most had not seen me perform.”
- James Wong
“I was in lane three and could not see the favourite, Than Than of Burma. I went all out at the starting gun and as we rounded the bend, Than was just ahead of me. Then, with the crowd roaring, I gave it my all and at the last stride I thought I had just made it.”
- Gloria Barnabas
“It’s sad. A part of me will be taken away. The stadium gave me so many great memories. It won’t be the same again.”
-Mdm Zalia Jaafar, receptionist, SSC
“The Singapore stadium should be a model for any country wanting to build an ultra-modern complex. They should send their architects here to study the structure and model their stadium in a similar way. It is the best stadium I have seen.”
- A.Waterworth, Everton’s chairman in 1974.
“I had heard of the National Stadium. I enjoyed the atmosphere during our club’s game against Singapore. The pitch was in superb condition and the crowd was fantastic.”
- Mike Phelan, one of the coaches at English Premiership side Manchester United, 2001
“I have travelled and played extensively in many parts of the world and Singapore’s National Stadium is comparable to the best. When compared with stadiums in Europe, it is just as good as the ones in Frankfurt and Rome. These two are rated two of the best in Europe.”
- Billy Bingham, manager of English professional club Everton in 1974, when he visited Singapore.

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An artists impression of the Sports Hub that is due to open by April 2014 (Photo:SSC)
As the Grand Old Dame bids her final farewell, Team Singapore athletes will reminisce the times that they’ have had with her. The Sports Hub will replace the Grand Old Dame as Singapore’s very own theatre of dreams. Judging by the dreams that Team Singapore athletes have, the Sports Hub promises to be a new arena for creating and showcasing stars.
When asked what she was looking forward to with the construction of the Sports Hub, Natasha Michiko Yokoyama, Singapore’s representative in the Youth Olympic Games sailing Byte CII, answered with gusto, “I guess I would really like to see international sailing competitions being held at the sports hub, and being able to compete in the first one!”
Youth Olympic Games Football captain, Jeffery Adam Lightfoot shares Yokoyama’s excitement stating, “I’ve heard lots about the new Sports Hub, and I hope someday I’ll get to play there, because I know it will be an amazing experience! “
Zachary Ryan Devaraj, believes the Sports Hub is where he will achieve his dreams. After much reflection, Zachary revealed, “I am praying Singapore will host a SEA Games at the Sports Hub.
I will fight to win a medal for Singapore. I dream to qualify for the Olympics in 2016 to be held in Rio. Certainly I would love to break the 800m and 1500m national records.”
Our 4x100m, 2009 SEA Games Silver medalist Muhammad Amirudin Jamal believes that Team Singapore athletes will be able to do well at the Sports Hub, especially when the crowd gets behind team. “With the world-class facilities that will be made available to them, Team Singapore athletes are bound to make a name for themselves in the sporting world”.

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Come 30 September, all those who wish to hold on to a piece of memorabilia on the National Stadium will be able to do so.
Aptly titled “The Dream Lives On”, a commemorative book on the history of the National Stadium will be made available to all. 37 years of history and memories are condensed into a 108 paged hard-cover book complete with photos of key events and inspiring moments.
Right from the inception of the idea of the National Stadium up to its closing ceremony, readers will feel a sense of nostalgia coursing through them as they turn the pages on the history of the monument.
It is undeniable. All who have passed through the National Stadium will have a piece of it in their hearts. Reminisce as sporting superstars such as Fandi Ahmad and C. Kunalan along with a whole host of people from all walks of life share with the readers their impressions and memories of our Grand Old Dame.  
The book was is priced at $20 per copy.
The book will be available at 10 Sports and Recreation Centres listed below:
1. Tampines Swimming Complex
2. Sengkang Booking Office (Integrated Counter)
3. Jurong West Booking Office (Integrated Counter)
4. Hougang Swimming Complex
5. Choa Chu Kang Booking Office (Integrated Counter)
6. Yio Chu Kang Swimming Complex
7. Clementi Swimming Complex
8. Bedok Swimming Complex
9. Jalan Besar Swimming Complex
10. Delta Swimming Complex
The book also comes with a complementary CD. 

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