As published in Mailsport today
By Haresh Deol
PETALING JAYA — The death of Datuk Seri Paul Mony Samuel (pic) yesterday shocked the football fraternity as condolences poured in from all over the world, paying tribute to one of the nation's finest sports administrators.
Paul died at the KPJ Damansara Specialist Hospital at 8.45pm after suffering from Parkinson's disease for more than a decade. The former FA of Malaysia (FAM), Asean Football Federation (AFF) and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) general-secretary was 71.
One man who misses him dearly is his former “student”, Asian Football Confederation (AFC) general-secretary Datuk Windsor Paul John.
"If I could turn back time, I would have advised Paul Mony to have a balance between football and life," said Windsor.
"But that is Paul Mony ... a man who lived and breathed football. He dedicated his soul to the sport."
Windsor said Paul was a true teacher, having taught many who were now in top positions in FAs abroad.
"He has taught many of us, including Saifuddin Abu Bakar and myself. He was a great teacher and we learnt a lot from him. Integrity was top on his list and he was committed to his work."
Windsor said Paul was a task master but kind at heart.
"He used to stay below his office at the FA of Malaysia (FAM) due to the late nights. He was even once chased out by the president (Sultan Ahmad Shah) who told him to go back and get some rest."
According to Windsor, FAM was acknowledged by Fifa as the best run organisation during Paul's time in office.
"Fifa also embarked on several pilot projects with FAM during Paul's tenure. That is an acknowledgment of his capabilities."
Born in Kuala Ketil, Kedah on Aug 8, 1945, Paul started his career as a teacher. He taught from 1967 until 1979.
He represented a premier league club in Kedah in the early ‘60s and later coached a premier league team in the ‘70s.
Paul was appointed FAM assistant secretary in the early ‘80s. He was made FAM general-secretary in 1985 serving until 2000.
He was one of the reviving members of AFF in 1995.
Paul was also involved in three World Cups — USA 1994, France 1998 and Korea-Japan in 2002. He was appointed by Fifa as the development officer for the Fifa Goal Development Office in Kuala Lumpur in 2000.
He held the AFC general-secretary post from Jan 1, 2007 until Feb 27, 2009. He was the AFF general-secretary from 2010 until he retired in 2013.
He leaves behind wife Datin Seri Kristen Paul and son Andrew Paul, 24.
The wake will be at 8.00pm today at his residence at No 4, Jalan SS 3/94, Petaling Jaya. A funeral service will be held at his home at 11am tomorrow after which his remains will be taken to the Subang Lutheran Garden.