Former Singapore footballer S Anthonysamy dies at 51

A minute's silence will be observed as mark of respect for Anthony ahead of Friday's friendly between Singapore and Malaysia.

S Anthonysamy
Image for representation Reuters

Former Singapore international S Anthonysamy died at the age of 51 after succumbing to complications from a chest infection on 6 October.

The midfielder, who had played for Woodlands Wellington, was paralysed from neck down since he suffered a freak injury during a friendly game in September 1996. Playing against Malaysian side Selangor, Anthony suffered two fractured vertebrae near his neck when a player from the opposition reportedly landed on him.

As a mark of respect for the footballer, a minute's silence will be observed ahead of Friday's Causeway Challenge between Singapore and Malaysia at the National Stadium.

"During his playing days, Anthony always played with boundless courage and tenacity and was a positive influence on the pitch. Off the field, Anthony demonstrated determination and optimism and had inspired many others around him," a statement on The Football Association of Singapore's official website read.

"On behalf of the Singapore football fraternity, we extend our deepest condolences to Anthony's family. Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time."

Former Woodlands manager R Vengadasalam paid his tribute to Anthony, who is survived by his wife. He revealed that the former international always kept the mood in the dressing room high and that he was never bogged down by the tragic incident that left him paralysed.

Notably, the club had arranged for a fundraising dinner back in 2012 to aid Anthonysamy and his wife, who had reportedly quit her job immediately after the midfielder's injury. Singapore senior team's caretaker coach V Sundramoorthy, who was a teammate of the Woodlands player, had revealed that the idea was initiated by the then assistant coach of the club, Clement Teo.

"He was always very jovial, and he was always lifting the mood of the dressing room with his singing," Vengadasalam was quoted as saying by the Todayonline.

"He never allowed his paralysis to get him down, and he always stayed positive after accepting his lifelong condition.

"I am very saddened by his passing but he was truly inspirational in the way he kept fighting all the way after his accident back in 1996."