Thomas Cup veteran received state recognition barely a week before death

THE late Thomas Cup great Law Teik Hock had tears in his eyes as he received a fitting tribute — an appreciation letter and plaque — for his contribution to badminton from the Penang Government.

His son Beng Yeow, 41, said his father was already bedridden when state Sports Committee chairman Lydia Ong Kok Fooi handed over the letter and plaque at their residence at Kim Bian Aik Road in Penang on July 7.

“He took a long look at the certificate after receiving it. He was really touched by the recognition. There were tears in his eyes,” said Beng Yeow before the cortege carrying his father’s remains left their residence yesterday.

Law, 89, died of natural causes on Tuesday.

His body was cremated at the Batu Gantong crematorium yesterday.

He leaves behind his wives Khoo Cheng Poh, 80, and Aui Poo Nai, 69, Beng Yeow and grandson Yong Aun, 20 months.

Law was best known for his sterling role in helping Malaya become the inaugural champions of the prestigious Thomas Cup in 1949.

Playing first singles then, Law’s stunning 15-5, 15-0 win over Jorn Skaarup made his team-mates go into overdrive and they easily overran Denmark 8-1 to lift the coveted Cup.

Teik Hock played alongside other Malayan badminton greats like Wong Peng Soon, Ong Poh Lim, Chan Kon Leong, Yeoh Teck Chye, Teoh Seng Khoon, Lim Kee Fong and Ooi Teik Hock back in the 1940s and 1950s. All of them have passed away except for Seng Khoon.

The state government also gave a similar award to the family of the late Ooi on the same date.

More than 100 family members, relatives, friends and those from the badminton fraternity attended Law’s funeral wake.

Among them were Lydia Ong, Komtar assemblyman Ng Wei Aik, Penang Badminton Association president Dr Koay Ban Hing and Penang Sports Council director Mohd Akbar Mustapha.

Ong said the recognition was long overdue for a badminton legend like Law.

“Who would know about Malaya back then, if not for these eight shuttlers who travelled for more than a month to London before emerging triumphant in the Thomas Cup 61 years ago?

“They were the ones who put Malaya on the world map with the surprise victory,” she said.

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