'Gentle rugby star' remembered, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

'Gentle rugby star' remembered

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Tributes for a "gentle rugby star" have poured in on social media, as news of Mr Slemat Rakisan's death spread among the rugby fraternity.

The rugby veteran died in a freak traffic accident on Thursday after his motorcycle was hit by a tyre that came off the wheel axle of a trailer truck on the opposite side of the Kranji Expressway.

A dashcam video circulating on social media shows the tyre bouncing across the road divider and striking the former vice-president of the Singapore Rugby Union (SRU) and his motorcycle. It then narrowly missed another motorcyclist as it tumbled across the road. Mr Slemat was thrown off his motorcycle on impact.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force was alerted to the accident at about 3.50pm. Mr Slemat, 57, was pronounced dead at the scene. Police investigations are ongoing.

Yesterday afternoon, at least 60 people, including Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu and members of the rugby community, turned up at his HDB block in Yung Ping Road, in Jurong, to pay their respects.

Former SRU president Chan Peng Mun wrote on Facebook: "A tragic and premature passing of a gentle rugby star. In the mid-90s, when rugby awoke from its slumber, he put his shoulder to the wheel for rugby to gain momentum."

Mr Slemat leaves behind his wife and three children, aged 19 to 28.