By Les Tan/Red Sports
The lights will go out soon on the old lady. (Photo 1 © Les Tan/Red Sports)
National Stadium, Saturday, June 30, 2007 — The sun is going down, casting long shadows on the National Stadium as the ex-internationals from Singapore and Malaysia play their final game on the stage that made them famous. The stadium is starting to fill with fans, most of them wearing red, eager for the start of the game between Singapore and Australia, and the post-game celebrations that will go long into the night.
Earlier this week, I came into the stadium when it was much quieter, with ground staff getting the pitch ready for the game tonight and technicians setting up the pyrotechnics and huge video screens. Noisy and boisterous primary school kids having a stadium tour were the only echo of the famed Kallang Roar. I took the chance to walk around the stadium, its quietness a stark contrast to the usual throbbing throng on match days. With the paint fading and the wooden seats cracked and broken, she has seen better days.
Many of us have run on its tracks, some have played on this pitch. I remember when I got a chance to play with a bunch of company executives 15 years older than I was. I had a ball of a time running around the old men and scored two goals. I wasn’t that good – they were just slow. The diagonal ball came across the box, I slid in, connected with the ball and it went past the keeper. I couldn’t believe it. Then I scored again in the last minute.
So that’s my memory of the National Stadium. Goodbye and goodnight, old girl. I’ll miss you.
Who can forget the anticipation as you walked up the steps into the stadium? (Photo 2 © Les Tan/Red Sports)
After 34 years, it’s lights out. (Photo 3 © Les Tan/Red Sports)
(Photo 4 © Les Tan/Red Sports)
(Photo 5 © Les Tan/Red Sports)
(Photo 6 © Les Tan/Red Sports)