KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 — It was a sad day for local football fans following the sudden passing of former national footballer Serbegeth Singh, who was also popularly known as Shebby Singh. He was 61.
The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), who mourned the loss of a football star who once shone brightly on the national and international arena, expressed their condolences to his family through a post on Facebook.
“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,” the post added.
Iskandar Puteri District Police chief ACP Dzulkhairi Mukhtar, when contacted by Bernama, confirmed that Shebby died while out cycling in Sunway at Iskandar Puteri at about 7.30pm yesterday.
Born on Aug 20, 1960, Shebby, who hailed from Kluang, Johor, was spotted by the late Abdul Shatar Khan, an individual with a 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.
Throughout his time with the Harimau Malaya from 1982-1991, 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.
In domestic football, Shebby was known as a solid defender throughout his time with Johor, Kuala Lumpur, Pahang and Negeri Sembilan before he went to carve 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.
Apart from being the global adviser of English Premier League side Blackburn Rovers in 2012-2013, Shebby was also the adviser for reality TV football team MyTeam and Malacca Telekom FC, besides being the technical adviser for Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT)
Meanwhile, JDT also expressed their condolences to Shebby’s family.
“JDT Football Club are shocked to learn of the passing of former JDT technical director and former Johor FA and Malaysian player Sergebeth Singh has passed away. The JDT Family would like to to express our deepest condolences to the family of Sergebeth. Rest in peace, Shebby,” JDT wrote on their Johor Southern Tigers Twitter account.
Former national coach B Sathianathan was also saddened by the passing of Shebby, who he described as a good friend, adding that it was a big loss for national football.
“We last spoke about a month ago when we discussed the Harimau Malaya’s failure in the AFF (Asean Football Federation) Cup 2020 in Singapore in December.
“He had contributed a lot, especially opinions and criticisms that sometimes did not make sense, but they were meant for the good of our football,” said Sathianathan.