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[Book Review] - Why You Must Know Who "UNCLE CHOO" Was!

The biography of "Uncle" Choo Seng Quee
The biography of "Uncle" Choo Seng Quee

I was thrilled when I first came across the Facebook group posting by
Reynold Godwin Pereira on his plan to write a book about Choo Seng Quee, the late legendary Singapore football coach whose name still awes everyone by merely mentioning his moniker "Uncle Choo".

After all, we are talking about an individual who, through his no-nonsense, tough disciplinary methods, uplifted game standards not just in Singapore, but also in Malaysia and Indonesia.

PRESERVE UNCLE CHOO MEMORIES BEFORE THEY'RE GONE

A biography like this one came just at the right time to inform the current young generation of the great things the man did before all those memories would fade away after the passing of one generation.

With "Uncle Choo" passing away in 1983, Pereira had to rely on the accounts shared with him by those who knew him, including players who trained under him and became national players like Quah Kim Song, etc.

The book author Reynold Godwin Pereira
The book author - Reynold Godwin Pereira 

On top of that, materials like old newspaper archives and oral recordings of interviews with relevant people are some of the sources tapped by the author in his compilation.

Besides tracing down details such as the family background of "Uncle Choo", and how he got started playing the game, much to the annoyance of one of his siblings who wanted him to focus on mastering the playing of a musical instrument, the book also detailed how the game of football was first introduced to Singapore by the British during the era that saw them become a global power in the nineteenth century.

Ko Po Hui with Reynold Godwin Pereira, the author holding the book
The blogger with the author holding the book

As someone who is also keen on studying the history of Singapore football, I truly appreciate the hard work and difficulties faced by Pereira during the process.

Things were even more challenging because music-loving Pereira is based in Barcelona, and the recent COVID pandemic did not make things easier for him either.

As such, most of the time, the 59-year-old qualified non-practicing lawyer had to communicate with his sources via electronic means such as emails and collaborate on details with information available on the internet.

SIMPLY BECAUSE IT IS "CHOO SENG QUEE"

Nonetheless, all these efforts were well rewarded on the 24th of March when the book - "Uncle Choo: Singapore’s Greatest Football Coach" was officially launched at the Singapore Recreation Club (SRC) in an event graced by the presence of Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Culture, Community and Youth Eric Chua and many of "Uncle Choo"'s former players.

I would strongly encourage reading this book, not only for the enormous amount of effort put in by Pereira but simply because it is CHOO SENG QUEE - a name that Singapore football simply cannot ignore (like how he was in the past by the establishment) and shall be the first inductee of the local hall of fame, should there be one in the future.

The book is now available for online purchasing via this link.

(P.S: This blog post is a self-initiated one with absolutely no interference from whosoever and whatsoever during the whole process.)

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