JOHOR BARU, Jan 13 — The son of Serbegeth “Shebby” Singh said his family was moved by the messages of appreciation that poured in for his father after news of his death broke last night.
Sonuljit Singh, 32, who spoke on behalf of his family, also asked that they be given time to mourn Serbegeth.
“My family and I are grateful to everyone, especially for the appreciation and respect shown towards my late father as a former sports personality on social media.
“However, I also hope that all parties can give us space to face this situation,” said Sonuljit when met with other family members at the compound of Sultanah Aminah Hospital’s Forensic Medicine Department here today.
Sonuljit explained that his father’s body will be brought to Kuala Lumpur and prepared according to the Punjabi community’s funerary customs and traditions.
“We decided that my father’s remains will be brought back to Kuala Lumpur.
“This is because my late father lived in Kuala Lumpur for more than 40 years where he built his sports career,” he said.
The body of the former national footballer and sports broadcaster will be brought to a crematorium on Jalan Loke Yew in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow afternoon, he added.
Serbegeth’s 60-year-old brother-in-law Kuldit Singh said the family was shocked by the news of his death as he was known as someone who took good care of his health.
He said Serbegeth led an active lifestyle and was an avid cyclist.
“We are saddened by his sudden passing,” said Kuldit, adding that Serbegeth had been active in cycling since he began living in Johor Baru about seven years ago.
Yesterday, it was reported that Serbegeth died after suffering what was believed to be a heart attack while cycling in Sunway Iskandar, Iskandar Puteri at about 7pm.
Iskandar Puteri district police chief Assistant Commissioner Dzulkhairi Mukhtar confirmed the matter.
Serbegeth, who hails from Johor, made his first football debut in 1978 when he was a defender for the southern state.
He played nine years of international football for Malaysia and was a South-east Asian Games gold medallist in 1989.
In the 2012 to 2013 season, Serbegeth was also appointed as a global adviser for Blackburn Rovers.
His football commentator career spanned over 20 years with appearances on Astro SuperSport, FoxSports and ESPN Asia.