Local Myanmar Football Community Mourn Loss Of Social Footballer

Ye Htut (with blond hair) rises the highest to head the ball clear.
Photo: Karen Unity Football League Singapore

Aaron Chan
Writer / Editor
The Unofficial S.League Podcast

The local Myanmar community is in mourning after learning that a prominent Myanmarese social footballer had passed away last week.

Ye Htut, who played for Myanmar Unity FC in the ESPZEN midweek league and Karen Unity Futsal Club in the Singapore Futsal Association Third Divison, was known as an extremely passionate footballer who displayed exemplary sportsmanship on the pitch and for his kind demeanour and wicked sense of humour off the pitch.

Ye, who worked in Singapore as an assistant baker, travelled back to Myanmar in late April to visit his family. The Unofficial S.League Podcast understands that he was commuting on his motorbike in Pathein City when he met an accident. Ye died on the spot after suffering a fatal head injury while a friend who was riding as a pillion at the time was warded to the ICU after falling into a coma.

Ye's team winning the Karen New Year tournament.
Ye Htut is suqatting first from the left in the front row while Saw is in red hoisting up the trophy.
Photo: Saw Shalom Haythaw

Goalkeeper Saw Shalom Haythaw, who plays for National Football League (NFL) Division 2 side Gymkhana FC, was team-mates with Ye during his time at Karen Unity Futsal Club. ""I met Ye Htut during a community football tournament in 2015 and we quickly became close friends. We joined Karen Unity in 2016 and won third place in the Third Division of the Singapore Futsal Association . The day  before he passed away, he told me that he wanted to play football with me again when he returns to Singapore and to win the annual Myanmar Karen New Year Competition. (Editor: the Karen New Year Competition is an annual local football tournament organized by the Myanmar Karen community.)" said Saw as he tried his best to hold back his tears. Saw is a Singaporean of Myanmarese descent.

Saw Moe Lwin Oo, who also played with Ye, said: " I saw him on the weekend (before his passing) and even played a social friendly match with him at Hockey Village (a football and hockey pitch in Boon Lay). After the match, we waved each other goodbye. Little would I know that it was the last time we ever saw each other. Words cannot express how sad I am by his passing."

Ye's former team-mates observing a minute of silence before their last match.
Photo: Saw Shalom Haythaw

An attacking midfielder who blazed a trial in the social leagues with his talent and technical ability, Ye Htut could have gone on to play in the NFL. However, as a foreigner, he faced an insurmountable obstacle as the league's age cap for foreigners was 25. Ye was 25 going on 26 at his time of passing.

"He always harboured a dream of playing in a bigger league but unfortunately this will not be possible anymore. I want to dedicate my achievement of making it to the NFL with Gymkhana FC to Ye Htut and I want to make him proud." said Saw.

Saw will begin his NFL journey with the Stallions this weekend when Gymkaha FC take on Admiralty CSC in their season opener at Clementi Stadium on 13th May.

In memory of Ye Htut (right)

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