What started off as an abbas saad feature on soccernet
led me down a very nostalgic trip along one of football's more local memory lanes.
it's 1991. i'm eleven years old. my school buddies are stanley wong and munadzam. we share a common love of two things: gila gila magazine and the johor state football team.
that year, johor wins the malaysian semi-pro league. abbas saad is the top scorer with twenty odd goals. we go to the malaysia cup final to face selangor. i don't know about stanley or munadzam, but this is a particularly big match for me because five years prior, when i was six, i saw selangor demolish johor 6-1 at this same stage.
but on this cup final night, that guy above, ervin boban, struck three past selangor and we carried the malaysia cup home. it was one of my best experiences ever as a football fan. and until today, that team - with abbas saad, alistair edwards, ervin boban, nasir yusof, a young annuar abu bakar, captained by salehan mohd som and managed by mike urukalo - will always be one of my favourite, if not my alltime favourite, football team.
my dream would be for johor to be in the final of the malaysia cup again, when i can bring my family to watch it at the stadium. i can imagine the conversation already.
me: kids, the last time johor was in a malaysia cup final, papa was eleven. and he saw us destroy selangor.
kids: but pa... we live in selangor.
me: no we don't. who said? who said?
kids: pa. subang jaya is in selangor. my school badge has yellow and red on it.
me: where got? i don't see any yellow. that's blue, son. stop pretending to be colour blind.