RIP Punch Gunalan

UPDATE 11.10am: Punch loses battle to liver cancer - as reported by Free Malaysia Today.

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Former national shuttler Punch Gunalan passed away earlier this morning after being seriously ill for the past week.

He was 68.

Born as Panchacharan Gunalan, the right-hander from Sepang, display on court earned him the nickname "Punch" by the local journos and he later embraced the new name.

He competed in the 1970 Thomas Cup and the All-England title in 1971.

Punch, who stayed in a lovely house in PJ, later turned into the national coach (Thomas Cup team 1992) before playing BA of Malaysia secretary from 1985-1997. He was also enjoyed interesting stints with the Asian Badminton Confederation and the International Badminton Federation.

I remember meeting him sometime ago when we sat down and he described how it was like playing badminton with a wooden racquet and  not having millions to come back to after winning a tournament.

"We had no money then so we sometimes travel by ship, it was good as we could train in the ship. We didn't play for money then, there was hardly any money to begin with. We played because we wanted to play for Malaysia," Punch said.

Sadly, my articles can no longer be found as The Malay Mail do not seem to have an archive system. However, I managed to find an article from the old Sunday Mail on a third party's website as seen here.

RIP Punch. You will be missed.

Bottom pic from thesportsmuseum.blogspot.com

Comments

  1. Sometimes it feel like the is not enough time to learn from the doyens of sports - gone to soon - sometimes it feel like we dont value or try to learn from enough from them till they are gone - some of them may not be perfect but we still can learn the good from them

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  2. Rest in peace Datuk. You will always be remebered.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Maninderjit (Mike)August 15, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    "The Nation lost a great sporting Hero". He contributed unanimously to Malaysian badminton and world badminton in which his pivotal contribution and always remembered till today is the 1992 Thomas Cup where Malaysia were the Champions. He was a great sportsmen with extraordinare administration skills which he always reminded me that "Sports is above any individual". He is a rare and through breed of sportsmen ever produced by Malaysia and he will be always remembered... Rest in peace Datuk!
    Maninderjit (Mike)

    ReplyDelete

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