Fandi Ahmad’s a name that most, if not all Singaporeans are well-acquainted with. The local football legend is as well known for his feats on the football field, as he is for his humility and genteel personality. But beyond that, there’s also a remarkable determination to succeed, the sacrifices he’s had to make along the way, and a man who places his family at the heart of what he does.
His new biography, written by Durga Poonambalam of WriteHaus Asia, chronicles Fandi’s life as a boy from the kampung, his rise to stardom, the subsequent pitfalls, and the family’s agony of nearly losing his wife and mother of their five children, Wendy Jacobs.
“It’s somewhat of a special project,” Durga tells us. “I had just completed a book project when my husband Allan asked who I would choose to write for next. My immediate response was ‘Fandi Ahmad’. He was surprised and asked why. I said ‘Why not Fandi?’ Football brings people together — Fandi brings Singaporeans together. I felt that it is important to honour and celebrate the life of someone who has contributed to that sense of belonging and Fandi is one of them.”
“Fandi is everything that we thought him to be — kind, humble and friendly. He can make people feel welcome and cared for. One thing that I never expected to see was his humorous side! He also has an incredible work ethic! It is a privilege to get to know the person that Fandi is through this journey.”– Durga Poonambalam, creative director of WriteHaus Asia
Fandi, who turns 60 this year, shares nuggets of his life through the book, and he tells The Weekly more about his role as father and coach, parenting lessons he’s learnt from his own childhood, and what he teaches his children about handling the spotlight.
Excerpts were taken from Fandi Ahmad’s biography Fandi: Honour & Sacrifice, published by Writehaus Asia.