You did us proud, Chiew Peng
Finding a goalkeeping spot in the national team then was akin to an A-star student securing a place in medical school or the law faculty.
That was how tough it was to become a national goalkeeper in the Seventies because of a plethora of top-notch stars between the posts.
The comparison may sound a slight exaggeration. But you get the drift.
So against a line-up of at least seven goalkeepers, Lim Chiew Peng stood tall.
The highly-talented and acrobatic goalkeeper died of cancer, aged 65, yesterday. He will be remembered as one of the hailed and heroic footballers who brought the Kallang Roar to the old National Stadium.
REST IN PEACE: Lim Chiew Peng, who was always generous with his smiles, (above) keeping out Terengganu's Nik Ahmad during a Malaysia Cup game at the National Stadium in 1979. ST FILE PHOTO
There was a period when Lim stood first among many equals whose names have been etched in footballing folklore since.
The stylish Eric Paine, who took over from the majestic Wilfred Skinner and agile Ahmad Wartam (father of Fandi Ahmad), was among them but, to be fair, the reliable goalkeeper was preparing to hand over the mantle.
And stepping forward were many Young Turks, who later formed an illustrious list, the who's who of Singapore football.
Edmund Wee, Brian Rozario, Paul Anthonysamy and Kuah Chui Heong were also already tying their bootlaces and ready to don the long-sleeved national team jerseys.
And waiting in the wings was the precocious David Lee and even an aspiring Richard Chiam.
Against such competition, Lim was imposing, playing in two Malaysia Cup finals in 1976 and 1979 and being in the squad when Singapore won the historic event in 1977 after 12 years.
Quah Kim Lye, 73, of the famous family that contributed eight footballers (five men and three women) to the national team over almost three decades, said Lim's passing was a sad loss to Singapore football.
Said Quah: "I played so many matches with Lim as our 'keeper. I went with him and the national team to England in 1972. I played several Malaysia Cup matches and King's Cup football with Chiew Peng.
"And I think he was one of the best goalkeepers Singapore has produced. His talent was god-given. He was a natural. He was spectacular with high-flying saves.
"Mind you, he was never a glutton for hard training, although under coach 'Uncle' Choo Seng Quee, he was made to sweat, and stretch, at training."
Despite that "slight drawback", Lim gave his life to football. After he retired from the national team, he went out of the way to train and guide young players.
Lim also provided his talent to many clubs, among them Safsa, Tyrwhitt Soccerites and Singapore Pools. And he did yeomen service for Tampines Rovers as goalkeeping coach.
But what struck me most about Lim was his humility.
Just before I wrote the Malaysia Cup book in 1990, I asked him: "Do you think you were among the best goalkeepers for Singapore?"
Ever-smiling, he replied quite dismissively: "Football is a team game, so credit to all."
"His talent was godgiven. He was a natural. He was spectacular with high-flying saves."
— Ex-Lion Quah Kim Lye on Lim Chiew Peng