Geylang International FC

A chat with former Geylang International captain Gulam Mohammad!

“Looking at the S-league these days, I’ve got to admit that the standard of the league is very poor. In my days, we even have difficulties buying tickets for our families! The league is much more interesting and there are always rivalries to be talked about. Every match, the stadium will be packed and it will motivate all of us to do well. The abundance of national players in Geylang International also helped to bring the crowd as Geylang Field was always a fan’s favourite place to be.”

Dressed smartly in a light turquoise shirt and black slacks, Gulam Mohammad took time out from his lunch break as a security officer to speak with Geylang United Football Club.  Having appeared for over 100 times for Singapore, Gulam was the team captain of the Geylang International Football Club, then named International Contract Specialists.

“I represented the Singapore Youth team in 1970 and started playing for ICS (International Contract Specialists) in 1971. Along with other players such as Robert Sim, Dollah Kassim, Samad Alapitchay and Lee Bee Seng, we’re the pioneers of the team. I was made the team captain and in 1974, when FAS requires all clubs to be named under a district, ICS changed its name to Geylang International as our home ground was based at Geylang Stadium, Lorong 12.”

Winning many titles such as the President’s Cup the League Championship and the Pools Cup, Geylang International FC was one of the most decorated football clubs in its era. Ran by Colin Ng, the club was once sponsored by Sportswear brand Puma and also Roy Jeans.

When asked about what he thought about the name change from Geylang United to Geylang International, Gulam replied with much delight, “If it is true that Geylang United is going to change its name to Geylang International again, I’m going to be a very happy man. Over the years, many people have played for Geylang United but Geylang International represents us, the true pioneers of the club. “

“Although we’ve not seen each other much less played with one another since, I still remember all of us being really good footballers. Players like Kim Song and Dollah Kassim were really superb technically and its going to be long before someone like that comes along. The death of Dollah Kassim really saddens me and it was really a great loss for Singapore football.”

A well accomplished player, Gulam Mohammad has won several honours with Geylang International including the President’s Cup, National Soccer League title and the Pools Cup. He has also presented Singapore in the SEA Games, Malaysia Cup and Queens Cup.

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