16 years ago, a tragic football injury changed the life of then 31-year-old S.Anthonysamy. The Woodlands Wellington player became paralysed from the neck down after suffering a freak injury in a friendly match against Selangor in 1996.
Wheelchair bound since the accident, and unable to seek employment due to his condition, he has been cared for by his devoted wife Keralin, who resigned from her job as a computer instructor soon after the incident to care for her husband.
Anthony has been supported by a trust fund which currently holds S$35,000, enough to last for another six years.
Speaking at a press conference organised by Woodlands Wellington, former team-mate and close friend V.Sundramoorthy said: “I met Woodlands Wellington assistant coach Clement Teo a couple of months back and he initiated this idea of having a fundraiser for Anthony. Woodlands is behind this fundraiser and I was very touched on what Clement planned. I really supported Clement’s idea of having this.”
“Anthony and myself played together in the late 80s as well as in Woodlands Wellington in 96. We were both playing in the match against Selangor when the injury happened and from then until now we have still kept in touch. What Woodlands is doing now is something really good for Anthony from my point of view.”
Team Manager Matthew Tay added: “Woodlands Wellington Football Club got to know about Anthonysamy’s current situation from newspaper reports and the management, which took over last year, knowing that Anthony was a former Woodlands player, wanted to make an effort to help him. We just want to do our part in whichever way possible. It does not matter if we are the first S.League club to do this, what matters is the help Anthony will get.”
Speaking exclusively to Goal.com Singapore a week earlier, Clement Teo revealed that it was LionsXII coach V.Sundramoorthy who had suggested the idea of having a fundraising dinner.
“We visited Anthonysamy a few weeks ago and this fund raising does mean a lot to him as his funds are running low,” said the Woodlands assistant coach.
“Both him and the wife are not working as the wife has to care for him at home. They are depending a lot on friends and the good this is that his medication is basically sponsored for as it is very expensive.
“We felt that we could try to help him and the best think that we could think of is basically to have a fundraising dinner and all the money raised from this initiative going to Anthonysamy.
“Frankly, we are targeting a minimum of S$25,000 from the dinner.
“This fund raising dinner is organised by Woodlands Wellington with the assistance of former national player and current LionsXII coach, V. Sundramoorthy. It was actually Sundram that suggested this idea to us.
“Sundram is a good friend of Anthonysamy and they are still very close. I met up with Sundram and we discussed about this. Initially we had wanted to arrange a soccer match but ultimately and importantly it is about the amount that can be raised through such an initiative.
“Frankly, in Singapore, he can’t survive on S$500 a month and furthermore, basic necessities for him each month is already almost about a S$1000.”
Anthony who was at the press conference on Friday added: “I would like to thank Woodlands, especially to Clement and the management, for organising this fundraiser. Clement is a very old friend of mine as I’ve known him for almost over 30 years. I would also like to thank Sundram for being here today.”
*The dinner will be held on September 25, 2012, at the Amara Hotel. Each table, consisting of ten seats will cost $1,300, and all proceeds from the fundraiser will go to Anthony. Woodlands Wellington will bear the additional costs involved with organising the dinner, while the subsidies made available by S.League for the dinner will be donated to the former WWFC player.