Paralysed ex-Lion Anthonysamy seriously ill
Former national winger S Anthonysamy is warded in Singapore General Hospital and is believed to be in serious condition, after suffering a chest infection.
National football coach V Sundramoorthy, who played alongside Anthonysamy for clubs such as Safsa, Tampines, Sembawang, Woodlands and also the national team, visited his old pal last night after putting the Lions through their paces ahead of tomorrow's Causeway Challenge at the National Stadium.
Said Sundram: "Anthony is a great guy, a great friend and I wish he will recover from this."
The 51-year-old Anthonysamy was a speedy winger for club and country but met with tragedy two decades ago in a friendly for Woodlands Wellington against Malaysian giants Selangor.
On that fateful day on Sept 3, 1996, Anthonysamy, a part-time footballer and part-time air-con technician then, was fielded in the last 10 minutes and took just three minutes to lay on the assist for the final goal in a 4-1 win.
CLUB WITH A HEART: Woodlands Wellington officials presenting ex-player S Anthonysamy (in wheelchair) and his wife Keralin (far right) with a cheque in 2012 after a fund-raiser. TNP FILE PHOTO
Two minutes later, he was floored after challenging for the ball with Selangor's Mubin Mokhtar, who landed with his full weight on the Singaporean player.
Anthonysamy was rushed to hospital and, the next day, doctors said that two vertebrae near the neck were fractured.
He has been paralysed from the neck down ever since.
Despite the tragic accident, Anthonysamy married fiancee Keralin Mary two months later while he was still warded at the Ang Mo Kio Community Hospital.
An ex-computer instructor, Keralin, then quit her job to become a full-time caregiver to her husband.
Despite difficulty moving around - Anthonysamy spends his days either in a wheelchair or in bed - the devout Catholic has maintained a positive outlook which has rubbed off on those who have met him.