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 Sports

Azhar to attend United Malaysia Annual Dinner

20th June, 2019

By UMESH RAJAN

KOTA KINABALU: With the 4th United Malaysia Annual Dinner just around the corner, another long- time Red Devils supporter in State Trade and Industries Assistant Minister, Azhar Matussin has been invited to the club’s annual celebration.

He was presented with the official invitation letter by United Malaysia president, Batholomew Jingulam during the supporters club’s courtesy visit to his office in Wisma Kewangan, here, on Tuesday.

Azhar expressed his keenness on attending the dinner which is scheduled to take place on June 28 at the Likas Hakka Hall Grand Ballroom, near here despite his tight working schedule.

At the same time, he agreed to sponsor one of the dinner’s lucky draw ticket prizes of an all-expenses paid trip to watch Manchester United play at Old Trafford, Manchester, England.

During the visit, he was also informed by Batholomew that United legend Ronny Johnsen, who was part of the famous treble-winning team during the 1998-99 season, will be gracing the occasion as the special guest.

As a Manchester United supporter himself, Azhar reminisced on fond football memories with the courtesy call delegation, particularly of a friendly match between the Sabah football team and the Red Devils at the Likas Stadium on June 10, 1981.

“I think I was still a Secondary School student at the time, either in Form 2 or Form 3. I remember donning my Scouts’ uniform to guard the field just so I could watch the match. Back then, I never missed a single match the Sabah football team played in,” he recalled.

The Karambunai Assemblyman had also revealed that he was one of the earliest members of United Malaysia, back when it was known as the Manchester United Supporters Club, Malaysia.

“When I heard that the nation’s first Manchester United Supporters Club was launching in Petaling Jaya, I knew I had to go. This was in 1994, when the club was still using books as membership cards.

“It is great to see how far the club has come since then and I am happier that now the club is based in Sabah under the administration of Sabah Red Devils,” added Azhar.

Founded by the late Lawrence How, what was once a small football supporters club has blossomed into a huge organisation with members nationwide. It was originally a Peninsula-based club until it was taken over four years ago.

Since 2011, the club has helped realise the dreams of more than 400 local Manchester United fans to watch their favourite team play at the Theatre of Dreams.

“And we will continue to help realise the dreams of many more,” said Batholomew.

   
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