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Celebrating local football history and heritage through “50 Greatest Moments in Singapore Football”

Singapore, 13 July 2012 – The New Paper, a publication of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) has collaborated with the Legion of Lions, a movement founded by former national players and local football enthusiasts to champion Singapore football, to launch “50 Greatest Moments in Singapore Football”. Straits Times Press (STP), SPH’s book publishing arm, is the publisher of this book. 

Held this evening at the Istana, the book launch was attended by over 200 guests, including members of the local football fraternity such as former national players and football officials, the book’s writers and contributors as well as representatives from the sponsors. President Tony Tan Keng Yam was the event’s Guest-of-Honour.

Helmed by The New Paper’s sports editor S Murali and his team of reporters and writers, “50 Greatest Moments in Singapore Football” features a collection of newspaper clippings and commentaries on the 50 most memorable moments in Singapore football since independence in 1965. Some of the contributors include veteran sports writers and commentators Godfrey Robert, Wilfred Yeo, Brian Miller, Joe Dorai and Brian Richmond, among many others. 

The book was conceptualised by Legion of Lions’ founders Leong Kok Fann and Lau Kok Keng. Together with co-founder Ian Mullane, they worked closely with The New Paper editorial team, former national football captains and local football enthusiasts in embarking on this project to promote Singapore football. 

The project received funding and support from the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), Singapore Pools, Singapore Press Holdings and the Ministry of Information, Communications and The Arts. Representatives from these stakeholders received a limited gold edition of the book autographed by President Tony Tan at tonight’s launch event. Donors to the President's Challenge also received the limited edition copies of the book from the President.

This 128-page book chronicles the milestones in Singapore’s football scene – as told in a series of newspaper clippings and commentaries. Some of the memorable stories featured in the book include Singapore’s fourth placing at the Asian Games in 1966; the triumph over then-Asian kingpins Malaysia in the 1977 pre­World Cup qualifiers; the nail biting extra­time Cup final victory over Penang that same year which brought the Malaysia Cup back to Singapore after 12 years; the momentous victories over the mighty North Koreans and the Chinese in the 1980 pre-Olympic qualifiers; the launch of the S-League in 1996, and victories at the three ASEAN Football Federation Championships in 1998, 2005 and 2007. 

How were the moments picked? From April 2012, The New Paper ran a series of articles on great moments in Singapore football, asking readers to share their favourite ones. With the feedback gathered, a selection panel which included sports reporters, former national captains and the founders of the Legion of Lions deliberated on and short-listed all submissions. The final 50 moments were picked by this panel.

Mr Dominic Nathan, Editor of The New Paper, said: “Since our first issue on 26 July 1988, with Fandi Ahmad on the cover, The New Paper has made its name covering local football. Through the book '50 Greatest Moments in Singapore Football', we aim to pay homage to our homegrown football warriors who, through their talents and hard work, have given us so many exciting moments and wonderful memories.” 

Mr S Murali, Sports Editor of The New Paper and the Editor of “50 Greatest Moments in Singapore Football", said: “This book is more than just a compilation of newspaper articles. The writers and contributors have given a fresh perspective to the stories and more importantly, a context and relevance that we hope today’s readers will find meaningful."

Ms Shirley Hew, Executive Director of STP, said: “The Straits Times Press is proud to be the publisher of this book. The publication of the book – from the research, writing, design, to marketing and publicity – is testament to SPH leveraging its multiple platforms and editorial and publishing competences. '50 Greatest Moments in Singapore Football' will be a valuable addition to the existing annals about Singapore’s sporting and cultural history.”

For Legion of Lions’ co-founders Mr Leong Kok Fann, an ex-international and Mr Lau Kok Keng, a lawyer in private practice, the book represents the culmination of a two year journey from conceptualisation to publication. 

Mr Leong said: “This book is ground-up initiative which I hope, can provide a greater connection between the fans, the players and the game in Singapore. As a former player, I have learnt valuable life lessons from football that have served me well in corporate life, and I am very touched and pleased to see so many former players and coaches contribute interviews and anecdotes to the book”. 

Mr Lau said: “The project started out as an aspiration to use my personal collection of newspaper archives of the 70s to the 90s as a platform to bring together the community of fans of Singapore football through shared memories and experiences. The book that has been published has gone beyond what I had envisioned, thanks to the tremendous efforts put in by the editorial team from The New Paper. Hopefully, the greatest moments featured in the book will serve to inspire our younger generation of footballers to emulate our heroes of the past and achieve greater heights of success for Singapore.” 

“50 Greatest Moments in Singapore Football” is available at leading bookstores at $30.00 (GST inclusive) from 14 July onwards. Copies may be purchased from Ms Jasmine Wee (DID – 63198341); Email - The book can also be purchased from the Straits Times Press Online Bookstore from 14 July onwards. 

Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Co. Regn. No. 198402868E

For more information, please contact:

Mr Yeo Siew Chi
Corporate Communications
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
DID – 6319 1586

HP – 9749 5105
Email – 

Mr Gary Yeo
Assistant Manager
Corporate Communications
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
DID – 6319 1225

Email –

About The New Paper

Launched in 1988, The New Paper has pioneered a style of journalism in Singapore that goes for sharp news angles. The second most-read English newspaper in Singapore after The Straits Times, The New Paper has a huge following for its sports pages that provide strong sports coverage, especially in soccer news. Now a big part of the Singapore scene, The New Paper strolled into the Guinness Book of World Records in 2000, when its annual mass-fitness event, The New Paper Big Walk, was recognised as the largest walk in the world.

About Straits Times Press (STP)

Straits Times Press is a publishing house with more than 100 years of combined international publishing experience as a team. The team has won international and regional prizes for excellence in editorial, design and publishing.

Straits Times Press publishes History, Biographies/Memoirs, Politics, Culture, Food and Lifestyle books. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings Ltd.

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About Singapore Press Holdings Ltd 

Incorporated in 1984, main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is Southeast Asia’s leading media organisation, engaging minds and enriching lives across multiple languages and platforms.

Newspapers, Magazines and Book Publishing 
In Singapore, SPH publishes 18 newspaper titles in four languages. On an average day, 2.92 million individuals or 74 per cent of people above 15 years old, read one of SPH's news publications. 

SPH also publishes and produces more than 100 magazine titles in Singapore and the region, covering a broad range of interests from lifestyle to information technology. 

SPH's subsidiaries, Straits Times Press and Focus Publishing, produce quality books and periodicals in English and Chinese.

Internet and Mobile
Beyond print, the Internet editions of SPH newspapers enjoy over 330 million page views with 18 million unique visitors every month. Apart from SPH AsiaOne portal, SPH's online and new media initiatives include an online marketplace for products, services and employment, ST701; Stomp,, and The Straits Times RazorTV. 

SPH also launched The Straits Times’ iPad and enhanced iPhone applications, an Android smartphone application and The Business Times Weekend's iPad application. SPH's Chinese flagship newspaper Lianhe Zaobao has also launched its digital platforms which include a web application, as well as online and PDF versions.

SPH has a 20 per cent stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8 and U, and a 40 per cent stake in MediaCorp Press Limited, which publishes the free newspaper, Today. In the radio business, SPH has an 80 per cent stake in SPH UnionWorks Pte Ltd, which operates entertainment stations Radio 100.3 in Chinese and 91.3FM in English.

Events and Out-of-Home Advertising
SPH’s events subsidiary Sphere Exhibits organises innovative consumer and trade events and exhibitions. In addition, SPH has ventured into out-of-home (OOH) advertising through its wholly-owned subsidiary, SPH MediaBoxOffice Pte Ltd, Singapore’s leading Digital Out-of-Home advertising company.

SPH owns and manages Paragon, the prime retail and office complex in the heart of Orchard Road, Singapore's main shopping belt. Its latest retail development, The Clementi Mall, started business operations in 2011. SPH's wholly-owned subsidiary, Times Development Pte Ltd, has also developed a 43-storey upmarket residential condominium, Sky@eleven, at Thomson Road.

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