Krishnasamy Veloo was once applauded by thousands as he commanded a football in an Olympics match and hailed a hero when he returned home.

Today, the 71-year-old former national midfielder spends his days in a Penang nursing home- alone, forgotten, broke and having his leg below the left knee amputated, no thanks to diabetes.

To compound the matter, the former sergeant major with the prisons department's eyesight and hearing are also failing.

Krishnasamy was part of the Malaysian team which beat the USA in the 1972 Munich Olympics. In the tournament, the national team lost their earlier two matches against West Germany and Morocco, but trashed the USA 3-0, after which they were accorded heroes' welcome when they arrived home.

He joined the national team in 1967 and played alongside legends like Soh Chin Aun and Ali Bakar.

According to the New Straits Times, Krishnasamy struggles to get by with his pension as the nursing home charges alone amounts to RM1,100 monthly.

He does not have a house of his own as his days in the civil service were spent in a government quarters.

His two children are unable to care for him while his wife, who is also sick, is under the care of his daughter.

Hearing the former footballer's plight, football fraternity The Friendship Circle (TFC) recently raised RM5,000 for Krishnasamy.

Besides, he also receives the odd donations now and then, and the National Athletes Welfare Foundation (YAKEB) has also pledged to help him.

Krishnasamy's plight is saddening indeed. Let's hope that the relevant parties responsible for the plight of former athletes/veterans take heed of his plight, and extend the necessary assistance to enable him to spend his remaining days in comfort.

Those wishing to help Krishnasamy can also contact him at 017-5555294.

Source: New Straits Times
Photo source: New Straits Times/The Rakyat Post/