Magnificent 5 bow out from The Star

If the Portuguese called their Football team “ the golden generation” , one will not be wrong to accord a similar salutation to the five personalities that exited or are in the process of exiting The Star sports desk.

In a single stroke of the pen , so as to say, an entire generation of sports loving and sports minded personalities were wiped out.

The Star sees the departure of its Sports Editor R. Manogaran, Deputy Sports Editor Phua Shew Beng, Sub Editor Rosli Ahmad, senior sports Writers S. Ramaguru and Eric Dudley Samuel.

The “ Gang of Five” vacated their positions as the company offered them the early retirement option scheme.

It is indeed baffling as to why The Star opted to let go such experienced personalities at the same time, especially when there are two major multi sports events – the Commonwealth Games in April and Asian Games in August next year.

As an avid reader of The Star sports pages, I grew up reading their articles and will feel lost, not that I am in any way belittling the current serving breed.

But gone will be the style, charisma, honest writing so attached to sports pages as many of us rely on sports to get us through the day, as most of us hardly glance through news pages, except to see if there is a sale.

Mano, a soft spoken yet unassuming personality joined The Star in 1983 to1986 before moving to NST only to return in 1997 for a continuous period of 20 years – such was his dedication to sports.

An avid supporter of Liverpool, his calm yet assertive arguments always makes sense and his approach was one of being inclusive rather then exclude anyone.

His view on local sports was refreshing and the emphasis he placed in the coverage of the domestic scene will surely be missed by the national sports bodies.

Phuah started his career in The Star from 1982 while Rosli a year earlier. Both came in as proof readers before moving to sports.

Though working behind the scenes, it was music to the ears hearing how the perceived sports, many a time their opinions differs from how we look at things but it was always good for thought.

I had the liberty of seeing all three at work when The Star was in Section 13 and their composure, knowledge and dedication towards sports astounded me.

As for Eric, the gentle giant and a die hard United fanatic, it was great working alongside him,

We often caught up at football stadiums when I was writing for The Malay Mail, especially at Paroi as we often felt duty bound towards giving coverage to our home state.

Eric was soft spoken yet firm and his questions at press conferences were stern but occasionally he would crack a joke that has the entire room breaking up into laughter.

As for Rama, I have penned an article on him and words cannot describe his contribution to Hockey as that was his passion.

To all five of them, I wish to convey my personal thanks as they somewhat influenced my venture into journalism.

They will surely be missed by those who read The Star sports pages and one can only wish them all the best in their future endeavours.

Suffice to say life will not be the same missing your work at the breakfast table each morning.

And to their loved ones, now that you will help their complete attention, we can only thank you for sharing them with us all these years.