Mike Yan, the maestro of NS and Malaysian Hockey, gone hut forever in our hearts

Micheal Yan Wai Pin, the midfield maestro of both Negeri Sembilan and Malaysian Hockey has departed to be with the Lord.

He passed away today and his death was recorded as due to natural cause.

He leaves behind his wife Foong Seow Ken and three boys, Jerome, Benjamin and Raymond.

I was first notified of his death by his son Jerome who sent me a simple message announcing the death of his beloved Dad.

I have been keeping in touch with Jerome ever since Mike suffered a stroke that changed his life.

Being a fighter . Mike overcame all odds and had an extension of a few years.

But no one can fight the will of God and Mike gave it a good fight, lived a honest life, was always close to God. Truly a character of a class of his own.

Though he loved Hockey, Mike was a natural sportsman, equally good at any sport he took up.

And it was a joy watching and playing be it Golf, Badminton or Tennis as he was always a jovial character.

We often used to joke though on his hockey exploits.

For Mike was the captain of the national Hockey team that won the silver in the 1973 SEA Games, losing 2-0 to hosts Singapore.

“ We it’s not easy to win Silver at SEA Games , no one could match our feat,” he often joked.

When I was a young Hockey player, there two persons whom I wanted to shape my career as – Michael Yan and Akhtar Rasool ( Pakistan).

I used to watch Mike play for NS at the famed NS Padang in the early 70’s, first when he worked for Telekom’s and represented Pakat, followed by the famed Rangers and then Old Paulina Association.

And he was himself nurtured by some of the best coaches in his early days at St Paul Institution, a school famed for churning out many a household name in the sport of Hockey.

But it was not till 1978 that I got to meet him in person when I qualified as an umpire and was paired with him for a league match, to undergo my practical.

His first advice to me , “ Blow for what you see and not for what you imagined. And carry only two cards, yellow and red and let the players see you tucking the cards into your pocket so they will be fearful.”

And that was the start of a friendship of well over 40 years, something we cherished all this while.

And when I joined the Seremban Municipal Council as a Town Planning Technician, our relationship was stronger as Mike was a architect, but never once did he ever use his friendship to gain any favour.

And he also was well respected by my colleagues in the office as to them Mike was a down to earth person and more a friend then a client.

When I was diagnosed with renal failure, Mike at my induction into the NSHA Hall of Fame had this to say, “ You can overcome this. You are resilient and will be able to fight it as you are a fighter.”

Truly my friend, your advice still rings clearly in my ears. A source of inspiration is what you are to me.

I remember whispering your words back to you as you lay in your bed at the Tung Shin Hospital when I visited you with ex NS Women’s Captain K Maheswari.

My heart bled seeing you lying there helpless but you overcame it as you were truly madd of steel within.

Michael coached the MPS team for the inaugural Malaysian Hockey League in 1987 and it was a respectable finish for a young starless side.

Mike was an astute tactician and his ability to read the game was second to none.

That is why it comes as no surprise that Mike had represented the nation in the following tournaments in his playing career.

1970 : Asian Games in Bangkok.

1974 : Captained the National Team to SEAP Games in Singapore.

1975 : Tour of India, New Zealand and Australia.

2008 : Vice Captain of the National Senior Team to the World Cup in Leverkusen,

Germany.

Mike also brought many honours in his playing career for Negeri Sembilan, amongst which were :

1974 : Captained the state team to win the Tun Hussein Cup

1975 : Captained the state team to win the TunRazakCup, participated in the Nehru

Memorial Tournament in New Delhi, India and won the Best Foreign Team

award.

1977 : Captained the state team to win the TunRazak Cup and retired from hockey.

That was the last time Negeri won the Razak Cup.

In my 14 years working in Seremban, both at the Municipal Council and YNS, meeting up Mike for Friday lunches was a must.

A few of us, notably Mike, Billy Yap and Kwai Loh used to head to a vast number of eateries in Seremban. The Regent in Bukit Kaya and under the old tree at Jalan Templer our Norbakti hangouts.

Mike was a person of dignity, fearless yet friendly and a true friend.

Many a time we would sit around after league matches at the NS Padang abd talk about life and hockey.

He doted on his children when they were young, never wanting them to undergo any hardship in life as he went through.

“ You know Satwant, being a parent is not easy but seeing my kids grow up is something I cherish. I feel my life is blessed.”

Mike considered me as part of his family and he acknowledged that at his sons wedding reception, introducing me as one of the honorary Yan brothers.

In his speech that night, he inducted me into his family, saying you all know my brothers but I have another one, a honorary Yan.

Mike played a major time in the rebuilding of both the Mantin and Tampin Sikh Temples.

It was in 1987 that Mike waived his fees for the revocation to the Mantin Sikh Temple and we both enjoyed our Wednesday rides to see the process of construction.

As his family will miss him dearly, I am certain the Sikh community too will kos this kind hearted soul.

His love and devotion for Hockey was outstanding.

Though Mike left us at 74 years of age, he had left us with monitors of a life time to cherish and remember him.

To those who wish to pay their last respects, below are the details;

Wake of Late Michael Yan

Date : Sun , Jan 19th & Mon 20th Jan 2020 Time : 10am Onwards , prayers commence at 8.00pm

Address : 1552, Taman Bukit Kaya, Jalan Sg. Ujong , 70200 Seremban. NS. ( landmark Regent Hall)

Funeral details will be made available soon.