Legendary national badminton doubles player Datuk Ng Boon Bee, who was part of the team that won Malaysia’s maiden Thomas Cup back in 1967, has died at the age of 84.
It was reported that his wife Tong Yee Cheng said that Ng complained of sharp stomach pain just as they were about to leave for a trip to Penang from their house in Chemor, Perak today.
“Boon Bee was very happy this morning. We had breakfast and before we could leave, he clutched his stomach saying there was a sharp pain,” she was quoted as saying.
Ng was reportedly rushed to a private hospital before being brought to Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital due to a shortage of beds.
It was reported that Ng died at 4pm due to an aneurysm.
Born on December 17, 1937 in Ipoh, Ng was a natural athlete who dabbled in a variety of sports growing up, including football, and of course, badminton.
He was named the country’s best football player in 1958 and represented Malaya in the Merdeka Tournament.
His first badminton silverware came in 1955 when he was the Perak Schoolboy champion in both singles and doubles.
In 1961, Ng came to a major crossroads in his sporting career where he had to choose between badminton or football.
He chose badminton where he had won his first All England medal after beating Erland Kops of Denmark and Oon Chong Jin of Malaya in the final.
Ng was best known for his agility and smash, which was seen as his best stroke back in the 60s and 70s era of badminton.
A student of St Michael’s Institution in Ipoh, Ng was part of the national squad that won the 1967 Thomas Cup at the Istora Senayan in Jakarta where fans turned unruly.
He formed a lethal partnership with Punch Gunalan to win numerous tournaments such as the 1970 Asian Games and the 1971 All England.
Ng leaves behind his 85-year-old wife and daughter Gillian.
His son Thomas, 54, who was named after Thomas Cup, died last year.
A three-day wake will be held at his residence from tomorrow at 61A, Jalan Sri Klebang 2, Chemor. The funeral will be held at the Nirvana Memorial Park on Sunday.