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PENANG lost a dedicated football official when Ng Aik Lum died of pneumonia today. He was 83.

Aik Lum, who wore a Bruce Lee-like trademark hairstyle, had been actively involved in football from the late 70s to the early 2000s.

In his younger days as well as when he was working in RTM, he played hockey, cricket, badminton and football.

Aik Lum’s daughter Ng Su-Ann said when her father retired from civil service as a senior technician, his nights were spent mainly on watching sports on TV.

“He used to eat, sleep and breathe football. He also had a passion for animals. Taking up a challenge from a friend, he rode a wild horse in Taiping.

“He was a man of few words. But once you engaged him on something he is passionate about, both of you can get along like a house on fire,” said Su-Ann, a former assistant chief sub-editor with The Star and now a communications manager with M Summit Group.

When Aik Lum quit playing games, he managed the Gelombang SC and later the Leong Sports Club when they participated in the Penang football (FAP) league.

Former FAP treasurer Tan Sri Ong Gim Huat, who knew Aik Lum from his involvement in football in the late 90s and early 2000s, said the state has lost a good man.

“He was involved in junior football and together, we were managing the Under-14 team. I invited him to be my assistant because he knew the ins and outs of the team. He was a very dedicated, responsible and no-nonsense man. Aik Lum was a footballer himself playing at club level,” Ong said.

Former state midfielder Rahman Maina, who had played for Kampong Makam and Penang Port Commission in the local league, said Aik Lum was one of the most humble officials in the football fraternity.

“I remember he was very active in RTM and Leong Sports Club. He was very nice and one of the most humble people I know,” Rahman said.

During his era, Aik Lum belonged to a band of like-minded officials who often sacrificed their time and money to develop young talents for the state team. The other officials included Mokhtar Saad (Kampong Makam), the late Freddy Wong (Ramblers), Chuah Hock Chye (Prai Rovers), Lau Ee Khim (Chinese Wanderers) and K. Ramachandran (Waterfall Rangers).

Aik Lum leaves behind wife Nelly Lim Phaik Suat, daughter Su-Ann and son-in-law Christopher Tan who is also the English Section editor of Buletin Mutiara.

The cortege will leave Mount Erskine funeral parlour at 11am on Oct 5 (Tuesday) for cremation at the Mount Erskine crematorium.

Source: Buletin Mutiara