Ahead of Singapore’s return leg against Guam, for a spot in the 2026 World Cup and 2027 Asian Cup, TMSG decided to pay tribute to the Lions and their tamers over the last 40 years.
As fans of the game, some of us have been following the exploits of the Singapore Lions since we were kids, when we used to save as much money as possible just so we could follow the Singapore national team on their exploits.
It all started either because our fathers brought us to watch matches at the Kallang Stadium of old, or because we had to accompany friends just so we could belong.
We all have that all familiar story to tell, about why we ended up following Singapore’s national football team, and why we continue to do so, despite the state in which Singapore football has descended into.
Whatever the case, we are the legion of Lions fans.
For some of us, there have been the many highs and then the many lows.
Among so many other moments, this correspondent was at the National Stadium when Singapore beat China 1-0 in a Pre-Olympics qualifier in 1980; was embedded with the team when Singapore lifted the Tiger Cup in Vietnam in 1998; when Singapore beat Iraq 2-0 in 2006 and when Singapore defeated Indonesia at home in January 2005 to lift the ASEAN Football Federation Championships.
There were also the lows of watching the Lions taken to the cleaners by Malaysia in 2002, and being knocked out of the regional championships in 2014, 2016 and 2018 on the trot.
We have seen so many Lions earn their spurs and then move on, to be replaced by a new legion of Lions.
For every batch, there’s been a Lions tamer – from Choo Seng Quee and those way before him, and those after him like Hussein Aljunied, Seak Poh Leong, PN Sivaji, Barry Whitbread, Vincent Subramaniam and Radojko Avramovic.
To celebrate the Lions jerseys though the decades, TMSG along with our content partner WAKE UP, SINGAPORE worked with an illustrator to depict 20 Lions and five competent coaches over the last four decades, inspired by the works of digital creator Emilio Sansolini.
This is to recognise the talent and sacrifice, of our players who have adorned the national flag on their chests.
Our message is clear.
We have your backs, and will keep battling the people in charge until they do their part to help improve the state of the game in Singapore and take responsibility for the malaise which has taken Singapore football down into the abyss.
Salute and all the best against Guam, and just get the job done.
We are supporting you from back home.
MAIN IMAGE: TMSG and WAKE UP, SINGAPORE