about TBFC – club history
Not a single footballer of star quality, hardly any sponsors, no stadium in the constituency and playing “kampong” football in the 3rd Division of the National Football League. That was in 1975, whereby the Club was then known as the Tiong Bahru Constituency Sports Club.
But things took a different turn when Richard Woon, the Chairman of the Club, persuaded Syed Mubarak Allabux, better known as Ali Boy, to coach the team in 1977. Within a year, Ali Boy turned the tide around by helping the Club to the Division Three title, scoring an amazing feat of 76 goals the highest scoring team among all the clubs in the three divisions.
Suddenly, everyone was talking about Tiong Bahru. But it was only the beginning. The following year, Tiong Bahru finished Champions of Division Two, to finally realise its long ambition of playing in the top division.In only its first season in Division One, it finished a creditable third place in the league. Then in 1982, the Club won its first major honours by capturing the much-coveted President’s Cup.
Tiong Bahru’s first major Honours – the 1982 President’s Cup
Subsequently in 1983, Tiong Bahru created Division One League history by becoming the first Club to win the League Championship without a single National Player in the team. Its efforts were rewarded when the Club secured the rights to represent the country in the 1st ASEAN Club Championship in Jakarta the following year. The tournament was the Club’s first major overseas assignment and they managed to pick up a well-earned third place.
But 1987 will go down as the Club’s best ever season. It was the year when Tiong Bahru stamped its class and authority in Singapore football. It took a clean sweep of all major titles at stake. First, the Club picked up the League title with ease. Then, it swept all rivals to clinch the League Cup. Finally, it rounded off an excellent year by winning the President’s Cup.
In 1988, semi-professional soccer was introduced in Singapore and Tiong Bahru joined the other nine elite clubs to participate in the newly-formed Premier League. From 1991 to 1995, Tiong Bahru was runners-up in the League. However, they managed to capture the Pool’s Cup (also known as the League Cup) in 1991 and 1993, and the FA Cup in 1994. Exactly 20 years after the birth of Tiong Bahru CSC, the Club changed its name to Tiong Bahru Football Club. It became the first Club in Singapore to establish its own Clubhouse, a Home for all its fans, members, players and officials. This was the first step towards its preparation for professional football in 1996.
Pool’s Cup 1991
Tiong Bahru United Football Club was formed in 1996. This was the beginning of a new era of professionalism for the Club, whereby the Club began its venture in Singapore’s first professional football league, the S.League. The Club then had its first foreign coach when Dutchman Robert Rene Alberts was assigned as Head Coach. It managed to finish runners-up in the S.League for two consecutive years in 1996 and 1997, and narrowly missing out on two Cup finals (the League Cup and FA Cup) after bowing out in the semi-finals through extra-time and penalty kicks. However, there was some consolation for the Club as it bagged the Best Fan Club Award from 1997 to 1999, a great reward for all its supporters.
In 1998, the Club embarked on an ambitious mission on going regional in Singapore. Tanjong Pagar United Football Club was established, and a new chapter of the Club’s history was created. The idea of this name change was to encompass all 10 constituencies within the Tanjong Pagar – West Coast GRC, making the Club the sole representative of this region. At the same time, the Club hopes to promote soccer to nearly 100,000 household residents within the same region. Towards the end of 1998, Tohari Paijan took on the reins of Head Coach and led the team to the Cup double, winning the FA Cup and the Tiger Beer Singapore Cup in his first season.
On the field, the Club will always aim to strive hard for stability and success, with the services of some of the best local and foreign players, supported by our strong management infrastructure. Off it, the vocal fans are always striving to spur the team on, Believe it, prepare to roar, as the Jaguars will always be on the prey.