Monday, October 10, 2016

Malaya: 1956 Olympian Aman Ullah dies...

AMAN Ullah Karim, 85, died on Sunday.
  He was among the first batch of hockey players from the Federation of Malaya who represented the country in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics where he scored a total of eight goals.
  And the man who played alongside him in Melbourne, Tan Sri P. Alagendra, was beyond grief as all his team-mates have now left him.
  "Oh! No... the two of us were the last remaining members of the squad and now Aman has also left," grieved Alagendra.
  "Before joining national training, he was Perak's top striker and his darting runs from the left had no answers from the defenders," remembered Alagendra, 86.
  Alagendra, who retired as Selangor Chief Police officer, said: "We encountered many difficulties travelling to Melbourne those days, but Aman was always a helping hand. He was a bit quiet and unassuming, but with the ball and stick, he tore the defence apart with ease."
  And among the notable goals he scored in 1956 were the two against Australia, but Malaya still lost 3-2.
  Aman was a terror in his days, and his school-mate at the Government English School, Tapah, remembers well his mentor and hero.
  Datuk R. Yogeswaran, coach of the famous 1975 World Cup team, remembers him well as he received a hockey stick from Aman.
  "He was my senior in school, and I used to look up to him as my mentor and hero those days because he was such a terror in Perak. One day, after training, he gave me his hockey stick, which was one of my best moments with him," said Yogeswaran.
  Aman later moved to Anderson School.
  Yoges also remembers him as one of the best left inside in the country in his days.
  "He was referred to as 'half of the Perak strikers' for his speed and when he moved into the semi-circle, the defenders and goalkeeper used to panic," said Yoges.
  Aman was an all-rounder as he played cricket, golf and tennis as well.
  "After the Melbourne Olympics, he started playing golf and was active at Kelab Golf Negara Subang.
  "In the first game against Great Britain, Malaya drew 2-2 and Aman was one of the scorers. In the end he scored a total of eight goals for the nation in our maiden Olympics," said Yogeswaran.