Former national footballer Shebby Singh dies at 61

12 Jan 2022 09:38pm
Shebby Singh passes away at 61 after he has reportedly suffered a heart attack earlier today.
Shebby Singh passes away at 61 after he has reportedly suffered a heart attack earlier today.

SHAH ALAM -- Football legend, Serbegeth Singh died yesterday (Jan 12). He was 61.

Fondly known as Shebby, it was reported that he previously faced breathing difficulties while cycling.

Iskandar Puteri District Police chief ACP Dzulkhairi Mukhtar, when contacted, confirmed the incident. He said Shebby died while out cycling in Sunway at Iskandar Puteri at about 7.30pm.

He added that the police is in the midst of garnering a full report on the incident to help with further investigation.

Born on Aug 20, 1960, Shebby, who hailed from Kluang, Johor.

He was spotted by the late Abdul Shatar Khan, who has a famous reputation for being a youth coach.

Former Kuala Lumpur coach, the late S. Subramaniam managed to convince Shebby to migrate to the capital in 1983 and join the City Boys.

He first donned national colours in the President’s Cup in South Korea in 1982. He went on to collect 61 caps, with his final outing as a Malaysian player coming against England at the Merdeka Stadium in 1991.

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Shebby also appeared in three Asian Games - 1982 (Delhi), 1986 (Seoul) and 1990 (Beijing) - besides winning the SEA Games gold medal in the 1989 edition and bronze in the 1985 edition during his time with Harimau Malaya.

In domestic football, Shebby was defender throughout his time with Johor, Kuala Lumpur, Pahang and Negeri Sembilan before carving a name for himself as a television personality, becoming a football pundit, including on Astro SuperSport, FoxSports and ESPN Asia.

As a centreback with Kuala Lumpur, he won the league title in 1986, 1987, 1988 and 1989; the Malaysia Cup in 1987, 1988 and 1989; and the FA Cup in 1993 and 1994.

Shebby was also the global adviser of English Premier League side Blackburn Rovers in 2012-2013, adviser for reality TV football team MyTeam and Malacca Telekom FC, as well as technical adviser for Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT)

Tributes for Shebby have not stopped pouring in since last night.

The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) expressed their condolences to his family via a Facebook post.

“FAM would like to express our condolences to the family of Serbegeth Singh following his sudden demise this evening. The late Shebby leaves behind his wife, Harbans Kaur, who is also a former national sprinter, and two children, Natassha Kaur and Sonuljit Singh,” it said.

Blackburn Rovers Football Club on their official social media platforms gave a special mention for Shebby, stating that they were saddened to learn of the passing of the club's advisor; "Our thoughts are with Shebby’s family and friends at this sad time".

Shebby's football pundit colleagues; Jason Dasey and John Dykes has also spoke out on his demise.

Dasey tweeted: "RIP Shebby Singh who has died aged 61. Shebby was one of the most popular football pundits in Malaysia - people would stop me in KL to ask about him - and well known across Asia. We didn’t always see eye to eye but I respected his achievements when we worked together. A big loss".

Meanwhile, Dykes said it was utterly devastating to hear about Shebby's passing.

"The time will come for us to talk about his passion and authenticity but for now all that matters is that we think of and respect the feelings of his loved ones. Rest In Peace Shebs," he posted on Twitter.

Former Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman described Shebby as Malaysia's greatest treasure who had devoted his entire life to our football industry; a talented footballer, coach and broadcaster.