( Izzat - first from the right, in action at SOJC)
National junior Noor Izzat lost his number one fan when his father Sumantri passed away on Monday, just three days before the Asia Junior Cup got underway in Malacca.
Sumantri succumbed to cancer at the age of 48, leaving behind his wife and five children, three boys and two girls.
Izzat was in Malacca and rushed back to Klang last night. When met at the Klang Hospital mortuary, he was in tears.
"My father wanted to see me play in the Asia Cup and had even packed his bags as he was planning to go down to Malacca on Tuesday," said Izzat.
"His condition took a turn for the worse early this morning when he started to vomit. He was taken to HUKM but was not admitted.
"In the evening he was drifting in and out of consciousness and he passed away on the way to the hospital.
"I am devastated with his death and will miss him as he made it a point to watch me play."
In fact Izzat's younger sister Noor Azlin is in Japan with the national women's hockey team participating in the Olympic Qualifiers. She however will be unable to make it for the funeral which is scheduled for 11.00am on Tuesday in Klang.
Another sibling is currently in Alor Star representing Kuala Lumpur in the National Under 16 Championships.
Present at the Klang Hospital were MHC Secretary General Tuan Haji Johari Aziz and Hashim Mohd Yusof.
"I will see how things are and discuss with my siblings and mother before deciding if I will play in the Asia Cup," said Izzat who purchased a new car to ensure his father could travel comfortably to Malacca for the tournament.
"My father really wanted to be there in person. Now he is no longer with us but I believe that he would have wanted me to play and bring honor to the country."
Meanwhile the National Junior Team will pay their last respects on Tuesday as arrangements have been made for the players to travel from Malacca to attend the funeral.
"We are all saddened and extend our condolences to Izzat," said coach K. Dharmaraj.
"It will be his decision solely to decide what he wants to do as I will respect whatever decision he makes on the Asia Junior Cup."
For team manager Mirnawan Nawawi, it was vital to see the state of mind of the player before deciding the next course of action.
"It is indeed sad as I met his dad on several occasions and could see that he was proud of his children representing Malaysia," said Mirnawan.
"While we are only to finalize the players list by Wednesday evening, I will speak to Izzat and see what he wants to do and respect the decision."