Former national footballer Hafiz Rahim, 36, dies after traffic accident
The Singapore football fraternity on Thursday (July 9) mourned the death of former national footballer Hafiz Rahim, who died after a traffic accident. He was 36.
Hafiz was on his motorcycle and said to be heading to a coaching session when the accident occurred in Tampines.
Widely remembered as an affable and soft-spoken person, the forward was part of the Singapore national squad which captured the AFF Suzuki Cup in 2012. He also clinched the S-League title with Warriors FC (2014) and the Singapore Cup with Home United (2013) and Geylang United (2009).
Hafiz often showed a knack for scoring on the big occasion, bagging winners for the Warriors, when they sealed their record ninth S-League title in 2014 by pipping Albirex Niigata 1-0; and for Geylang, when they beat Thai club Bangkok Glass 1-0 in the 2009 Singapore Cup final to end an eight-year trophy drought.
The skilful attacker, who also turned out for Gombak United and Tampines Rovers, made over 200 appearances in the domestic league before hanging up his boots in 2017. He was also called up to the national team in 2011 and 2012, earning nine caps and one goal.
Eugene Loo, who was the national team manager then, posted on Facebook: "A humble and polite player... respected by all for his hardworking and positive attitude... May your soul rest in peace and eternal light shine upon you, Hafiz. Thank you for your contribution to our national team."
Former Geylang general manager Koh Mui Tee remembers Hafiz as the star performer as the Eagles often punched above their weight. He said: "It's sad that he has gone so soon. My thoughts are with his family."
When contacted, Hafiz's former teammates expressed grief and deep sadness.
Former national striker Fazrul Nawaz said: "I'm devastated. The news is still sinking in."
Former Thailand international Therdsak Chaiman, who was teammates with Hafiz at Singapore Armed Forces FC (SAFFC) in 2005, said: "I remember him as a quiet person, but always smiling and very hardworking. He's gone too soon."
Former SAFFC, Home and Geylang goalkeeper Shahril Jantan posted on his Facebook page: "Let's remember the good times we had on the football pitch, my friend.
"May those around you be given the strength during this difficult period."