On this page we celebrate those Port players who may have long since left the hallowed halls of the PAT, but whose legend, for various reasons, lives on – either because they were unforgettably great, unforgettably shit, or unforgettably charismatic. You don’t have to be a Messi-level genius to be a cult hero which, in Port’s case, is just as well, for footballing geniuses have been pretty thin on the ground at the PAT over the years. You just have to wear the orange & blue with pride, give the proverbial 110%, score against Muangthong, or be so comically bad at football that we can’t help but love you. Here is an ever-expanding list of players who meet those criteria. And if we’ve missed out your own legend, please email us and put that right.

Mario Cesar Da Silva

Name: Mario Cesar Da Silva

Nationality: Brazilian

Position: Centre Back

Years Spent With Port: 2009-2012

Mario Cesar Da Silva – or ‘Mr. Mario’ as he was known on the back of his shirt for the 2009 season – the other half of the aforementioned defensive duo. Whilst Moise’s game was all about strength and pace, Mario was the wrong side of 30 and turned like a cargo ship. Despite his limitations he marshalled the defence with authority, read the game pretty well and wasn’t afraid to put his body on the line. When he was caught out, Moise’s pace usually bailed him out of trouble. He was never as good without Moise playing alongside him (and vice versa).

Mario was a typical South American player – and I don’t mean skill-wise. He played up to the crowd – which they loved, he was always in the referee’s ear and he was no stranger to a bit of off the ball aggro. Suchao Nuchnum once took exception to a hefty Mario challenge and slapped him in the face behind the referee’s back. The Brazilian returned the blow with a bit of extra force and the Buriram skipper hit the deck like a sack of spuds before being ‘counted out’ by the supporters in Zone C. Mario deserves cult hero status for that incident alone.

Just like his sidekick, his career post-Port slowly fizzled out. He wound down his playing days with stints at Bangkok United and lower league sides Rayong F.C. and Khonkaen F.C.

Profile by Marcus T

Ali Diarra

Name: Ali Diarra

Nationality: Ivory Coast

Position: Midfield

Years Spent With Port: 2013, 2015-16

Ali joined Port on loan from Muang Thong in 2013, to complete a very impressive squad, built up by manager Dusit Chalermsan, to bounce straight back into the top flight after the emotional relegation scenes at the end of 2012.

Ali was the epitome of smooth; floating across the pitch like a, perhaps, slightly lesser grade Patrick Viera or Yaya Toure. He dominated midfield with an air of total authority, spreading the play to either wing or linking up to set Leandro free through the middle. His almost lazy amble to the touchline and cross for Sarawut’s winning header against Air Force to clinch promotion on the final day is one of my best Port photographic memories. Later, he signed my shirt at the post match club-sponsored promotion party. Yes, we had post match club sponsored parties in those days. I haven’t washed it since.

Ali went out on loan to Bangkok FC the following year and made a disappointing return to Port for a couple of seasons, being loaned out himself in turn to TTM and BBCU – he was always fond of acronyms. I believe he is now plying his trade again at Bangkok FC.

As far as I recall, Ali only scored one goal for Port in competitive action, a simple tap-in to round off a move of synchronised beauty in an 8-2 Cup victory over Thai Honda.

His talents lay elsewhere.

Profile by Peter Hockley

Edvaldo

Name: Edvaldo

Nationality: Brazilian

Position: Striker

Years Spent With Port: 2009

Edvaldo was the archetypal journeyman striker. He joined Port at the age of 34 having played for several clubs in Brazil as well as some decent sides in Portugal, Switzerland, Mexico, USA, Ecuador, China and latterly UPB-MyTeam in Malaysia.

Eddie was tall and strong but not particularly mobile. He looked a bit like Lurch from The Addams Family and moved like him too. He was, however, an excellent target man. He won more than his fair share of aerial duels, held the ball up well and provided a focal point for the team. The big man was not a prolific goalscorer but popped up with a few important goals – none more so than his Houchen-esque equaliser in the 2009 FA Cup Final and calmly taken penalty in the subsequent shootout – which we won 5-4 to end Port’s 16-year trophy drought.

Edvaldo left the club six-months later and joined Chiangrai United, scoring 8 times in 16 appearances. He continued playing for one final year with lower league side Phang Nga F.C. before calling time on his career.

Profile by Marcus T

Ekkapoom Potharungroj

Name: Ekkapoom Potharungroj

Nationality: Thai

Position: Winger

Years Spent With Port: 2010-11, 2015-17

Ekkapoom has to be one of the most popular Port players in recent times. A hard-worker on the pitch and an absolute gentleman off it, Ekkapoom always had time for his legions of fans and would routinely be signing shirts and scarves long after his teammates were already back in the dressing room.

A story that typified the ‘Poom emerged in the weeks after the King’s death. He was spotted giving free motorcycle rides to and from Suan Luang to all comers, as always ready to volunteer his time and effort to make his community a better place.

The Ratchaburi native joined Port as a 25 year old, when his career really took off. After impressing in his 2 seasons with Port, Ekkapoom was snapped up by Muangthong, but he didn’t ever quite manage to force himself in to the first team, and left a season later. Come 2015 Ekkapoom was back at PAT Stadium on loan from BEC Tero, and his signing was made permanent the next season. After injuries and falling out of first team contention, Ekkapoom left Port for Air Force at the end of the 2017 season at the age of 32.

He won’t be remember for being one of Port’s greatest players, but he will certainly be remembered for his relationship with the fans, his work rate, the spark he provided in attack and all those bloody mishit crosses!

Profile by Tom Earls

Lee Ho

Name: Lee Ho

Nationality: South Korean

Position: Defender, Midfielder

Years Spent With Port: 2015

More of a cult hero than a legend, Lee Ho was a disaster of a centre half, but an absolute force of nature in the final third. After watching him blunder his way through his first several games at the back, Port first dropped Lee, before finally coming to their senses and moving him in to midfield.

From midfield Lee would cruise past defenders with an elegance he could never muster at the back, and when he hit the ball, it was either past the goalkeeper before he knew what had happened, or it was bouncing through the third floor of the Loxley car park. Amazingly, from the penalty spot he never seemed to miss despite launching the ball at the top corner with maximum power practically every time.

The zenith of his Port career was an FA Cup tie against TOT. Lee gave the ball away to gift TOT the opener, equalized from the spot and put Port ahead with one of the goals of the season. Port conceded an agonizing last-minute equalizer and it all came down to a rain-soaked penalty shootout. Lee converted the opening penalty, but after one full round of kicks there was still yet to be a winner. The Korean converted Port’s 12th penalty, then Weera saved TOT’s next effort to send a drenched PAT Stadium wild. Lee’s final tally for the game was four goals. Not bad for a centre back!

After leaving Port, Lee called time on his football career and moved in to modeling at the age of 29. As you do.

Profile by Tom Earls

Kiatjaroen Ruangparn

Name: Kiatjaroen Ruangparn

Nationality: Thai

Position: Centre Midfield

Years Spent With Port: 2005-2016

Kiatjaroen Ruangparn aka Mr Thai Port – an unassuming, underrated, solid midfielder. A true club legend for longevity alone. He was, along with our orange & blue shirt, the only constant at the club from 2005 to 2016. He played in at least four different ‘home’ stadiums and saw countless chairman, owners, managers and players come and go – along with four different club names and numerous badge changes.

He played a part in all the major events in our recent history – good and bad; the ‘great escapes’ in 2007 & 2008, an FA Cup Final win in 2009, a Toyota League Cup Final win in 2010 and defeat in 2011, a Toyota Premier Cup victory in 2011, relegation in 2012 and 2015 and promotion in 2013 and 2016 (first leg only), skippering the side on many occasions over the years and always giving 100% effort on the pitch.

Kiatjaroen revoked his status as a ‘one-club man’ and joined Air Force Central during the 2016 mid-season transfer window where he was reunited with ex-Port coach Sasom Pobprasert. He helped The Blue Eagles to regain their place in the top flight before retiring in 2017.

Profile by Marcus T

Jirawat Makarom

Name: Jirawat Makarom

Nationality: Thai

Position: Midfield

Years Spent With Port: 2007-11, 2015

Jirawat (Captain Jack) was the stand-out player during my first years of supporting Port and the first of my Port heroic icons. His value to Port as midfield genius and captain was clearly evident. He was Man of the Match in Port’s 2009 FA Cup win and a year later would score one of the goals which sunk Buriram FC in the League Cup Final.

He displayed a magnificent range of passing and was a dead-eyed, free kick specialist. Jirawat was a true captain, inspiring Port to a level of performance beyond their collective strength. I bought a Jirawat t-shirt at the end of the 2011 season to proudly wear on my Summer trip back to the UK, only to find on my return that he had been sold to Buriram FC. who won the title that year. He had gone but the t-shirt stayed.

He played for Buriram in all of its forms: FC, PEA and, finally, United, with whom he won the title in 2013. He made his belated national debut in 2012, making just four appearances in all. Perhaps if he had played for a more ‘glamorous’ team than Port, he would have been capped much earlier.

Captain Jack made a return to Port in 2015 but never quite reached the heights of his previous spell. He is, sadly, now languishing firmly in the relegation zone with Air Force Central FC. He made 99 appearances in all for Port, scoring 22 goals.

Profile by Peter Hockley

Leandro Oliveira Da Luz

Name: Leandro Oliveira Da Luz

Nationality: Brazilian

Position: Midfield/Forward

Years Spent With Port: 2013-15

Leandro was born in Candido Mota, Brazil on March 3rd 1983. At nineteen, he joined legendary Brazilian team, Santos and within a year had made four appearances for the U’23 Olympic squad. With his career never really taking off in his home country, Leandro joined Hai Phong of the V-League in 2008, quickly becoming a crowd idol, gaining the inevitable title of, ‘King Leandro’ and being voted V-League best player in 2009.

Leandro heralded his 2013 arrival at Port, or Singhtarua at the time, with a stunning left-foot volleyed goal in a pre-season friendly at Chiang Rai. When his two goals secured an opening day victory at Ayuthaya in Port’s first match in the second tier, we knew we were witnessing the beginning of something special.

Leandro just couldn’t score simple goals and with every arrowed free-kick, spectacular volley, diving header or precision penalty, his regal reputation grew. He could be magnificently mean and moody, selfish and sultry, theatrical to a degree only a Brazilian could muster but we loved him, well, most of us.

His Golden Boot winning 24 goals propelled us to promotion that season and his continued goal threat was instrumental in leading us to the top of the League early on in our return to the top flight.  Sadly, the nine point deduction at the end of that season led to a frantic, late relegation fight and a subsequent exodus of key talent, of which Leandro was one, making his way across the city to Bangkok Glass before a loan spell at Osotspa preceded a final move to PTT Rayong where he led inspirational coaching sessions at the local International school.

For a fuller appreciation of this Port icon, read here.

Profile by Peter Hockley

Moudourou Swa-Moise

Name: Moudourou Swa-Moise

Nationality: Cameroonian

Position: Centre Back

Years Spent With Port: 2009-11

One half of the ever dependable Moise & Mario central defensive partnership. Moise joined Port from Malaysian side Johor F.C. and played an integral part in our three trophy wins between 2009-2011. He’s also the only Port player (to date) to score a winning goal vs Muangthong at PAT Stadium.

When it comes to waxing lyrical about him look no further than The Sandpit’s own homage to the Cameroonian man-mountain; “For me, Moise is a club legend, a behemoth, an icon, the best player to have pulled on the orange and blue. Whether it’s his majestic swaggering running style that seemed to make it so easy for him to gracefully glide around the pitch with such speed at almost no effort, or his (as far as my memory recalls) having nearly never put a foot wrong in any of the 30 games he honoured us with during the 2010 and 2011 seasons.”

Moise certainly didn’t make too many mistakes in a Port shirt but a spectacular own goal against Geylang United in the AFC Cup immediately springs to mind. He somehow managed to head the ball over our goalkeeper, who had strayed off his line, from about 35-yards out.

His time at PAT Stadium proved to be the high point of his career. Spells at Suphanburi, Chainat and Phuket were to follow but it was a case of ever decreasing circles and recurrent injury problems until he fell off our radar in 2014.

Profile by Marcus T

Genki Nagasato

Name: Genki Nagasato

Nationality: Japanese

Position: Left Winger

Years Spent with Port: 2016-17

Genki joined Port from Chiang Rai Utd at the beginning of Port’s 2016 season (which was spent in T2), and very quickly endeared himself to the PAT faithful with his wholehearted performances. If the rest of the team gave 110%, then the Genk would crank it up to 120. Seeing him bombing up & down the wing, socks rolled down, was a throwback to the glory days of the likes of Peter Barnes or, more recently, Mous Hadji. Genki may not have been the most skillful player in the world (as Big Ron once said of Carlton Palmer, “He traps it further than I go on holiday”) – and, with his sisters both Japan internationals, probably not even the most skillful player in the Nagasato family – but his workrate, his goals and his sheer joy at being on the pitch made him very popular.

When Port were promoted back to T1 in 2017, many expected the Genk to spend most of his time on the bench or be moved on altogether, but you can’t keep a good man down and, after coming on as a sub in the first game against Ratchaburi and scoring a spectacular, Houchen-esque injury time equaliser, he was firmly back in the fold, and even had his own chant (“Genki Nagasato!” sung to the tune of The Human League’s ‘Don’t You Want Me‘). His Port farewell came at Ratchaburi, and as the travelling fans serenaded him for the last time, he broke down in tears, and I have to admit I had something in my eye as well. He is now plying his trade for Tokyo Utd in Japan’s Kanto Soccer League.

Profile by Tim Russell

Pipat Thonkanya

Name: Pipat Thonkanya

Nationality: Thai

Position: Forward

Years spent with Port: 2008-09

Another candidate for cult hero status after one successful season at PAT Stadium. Pipat added some much needed pace and movement to our attack and forged a great partnership with Edvaldo. To sign him at all was something of a coup at the time. He left 2008 TPL Champions PEA Ayutthaya to join a club that had narrowly avoided relegation on the final day of the season. His leap of faith was rewarded as Thai Port won the FA Cup – with Pipat playing a pivotal role. He scored in the third round vs Navy, fourth round vs Police and in the semi-final vs Osotspa. He also provided a brave assist in the Cup Final for Edvaldo’s goal. The skipper then held his nerve to score the winning spot kick before lifting the trophy aloft in front of thousands of Port fans.

Pipat’s FA Cup exploits plus 10 goals in 29 TPL games earned him a recall to the Thailand national team and a lucrative move to Indonesian side Persisam Samarinda. He returned to Thai football a year later with Buriram PEA before embarking on a nomadic end to his career with Osotspa Saraburi, Suphanburi, PTT Rayong, Chiangmai, Phuket, Udon Thani and Amnart Chareon.

Profile by Marcus T

Pongpipat Kamnuan

Name: Pongpipat Kamnuan

Nationality: Thai

Position: Left Back

Years Spent With Port: 2009-2012, 2015-16

Pongpipat started his career as a talented Futsal player. He represented the Thailand national team, winning the ASEAN Futsal Championship in Kuantan, Malaysia in 2003 and again in Bangkok in 2005 before switching to football in 2007.

The combative left-back may have lacked pace but he made up for that with aggression and a hint of recklessness. He kicked anything that moved and argued with match officials at any given opportunity, which links us nicely to the infamous Kor Royal Cup match against Muangthong Utd. With Port trailing 1-0, MTU scored a controversial late goal. Pongpipat was convinced there was a handball in the build-up and when his protestations to the officials fell on deaf ears, he turned to the seething Klongtoey Army and gestured something along the lines of ‘let them ‘ave it’. His nickname ‘M17’ sounds like a 1980’s Colombian guerrilla movement and he had similar levels of firepower on his side as a flurry of fireworks shot across the pitch towards the Muangthong end… and the rest is history. The abiding aftermath image is of him casually signing autographs whilst a Muangthong banner smoulders in the background. He was later fined and banned by the TPL for his actions.

Pongpipat left Port in 2012 and then briefly re-joined in 2015 after stints with Bangkok Glass, Samut Songkhram and Bangkok United. His best days were well behind him by then and he saw out his career at his hometown club Nakhon Phanom.

Profile by Marcus T

Hironori Saruta

Name: Hironori Saruta

Nationality: Japanese

Position: Winger

Years Spent With Port: 2014-15

Hironori Saruta is legend and fan-favourite at Port despite only being at the club for 2 seasons. His shirts (no.20 in his first season and no.10 in his second) are still regularly seen around PAT Stadium, and no conversation about Port’s best attacking players is complete without reference to the Japanese pocket rocket.

Standing at just 5 foot 4 (1.62m) Saruta had pace to burn and a centre of gravity somewhere near his ankles. He was one of those players whose mere presence was enough to lift the crowd; if Saruta was on the pitch you knew anything was possible. The conjurer of excitement and more than his fair share of goals and assists, Saruta provided Port fans suffering through the torments of watching the likes of Brent McGrath with a reason to believe, and to enjoy. Unfortunately in 2015 he picked up several injuries and couldn’t prevent Port suffering an agonizing final-day relegation, after which he moved to Chiang Rai.

Saruta has now hung up his boots, but he will always be remembered as a Port legend.

Profile by Tom Earls

Ronnachai Sayomchai

Name: Ronnachai Sayomchai

Nationality: Thai

Position: Striker

Years Spent With Port: 1985-86, 1990-99

Ronnachai, nicknamed Na Ron, is one of the greatest Port players of all time. A forward with an absolutely vicious strike on him, Na Ron set scoring records which lasted more than a decade in his time with Port.

Na Ron joined Port at the age of just 16, and had to combine working at the Port Authority with playing for the youth team. He broke in to the first team aged 19 and immediately played a key role as Port won the Kor Royal Cup (the predecessor of the TPL) in 1985.

So talented was the youngster that after two prolific seasons, interest started coming from abroad, and in 1987 Na Ron opted to test his skills against some of the best in Asia. He first joined Matsushita in Japan, then moved to Pahang FA in Malaysia, before coming back to Port in 1990 for a stint that would really etch his name firmly in to Khlongtoei folklore.

It once again began with a Kor Royal Cup victory in his first season back with Port, but Na Ron really peaked in the late 90’s. In 1998 he netted 23 TPL goals, setting a record which would stand until 2012 when it was broken by Teerasil Dangda. There was only one slight difference. Na Ron set his outrageous record in a 22 game season, whereas Teerasil needed 34 games to net his 24 goals. Port finished fourth in the TPL that year, and a year later in Na Ron’s final season with Port, they finished second.

Now in his fifties, Ronnachai is still involved with the football world and with Port. He coaches at Port’s Pathum Kongka academy, where he helped nurture the talent of Buriram star Supachai Jaided.

Profile by Tom Earls

Steven Robb

Name: Steven Robb

Nationality: Scottish

Position: Left Winger

Years Spent with Port: 2011-13

The ex-Dundee United winger made the journey from Tayport to Thai Port in 2011 with the club looking to build on an impressive fourth place finish in the 2010 TPL. Unfortunately, after a decent first half of the season, financial problems arose and key players and coaching staff left for pastures new, sparking a downturn in the club’s fortunes. Intermittent salary payments, niggling injuries and managerial changes were constant themes during Steven’s time at the club – he played under six different managers in an eventful three seasons at PAT Stadium.

On the pitch there were highs and lows too. Robbo helped us reach the final of the Toyota League Cup for the second successive season and despite a spirited individual performance, he could do nothing to prevent a 2-0 loss to Buriram on a swamp of a pitch at Suphachalasai. 2012 saw us relegated to Division 1 (now T2) as Robb scored the final goal of the Thai Port F.C. era in a 2-1 defeat to Chonburi. The newly renamed Singhtarua were promoted back to the top flight in 2013 which proved to be the Scottish midfielder’s final season in Thai football.

To cement his cult hero status, Robbo holds the honour of being the only British player to play for Port. He also scored one the best Port goals in recent memory, a 40-yard, left-footed thunderbolt at TTM Chiangmai in 2012. Sandpit readers who met him will also concur that he’s a cracking bloke too.

Profile by Marcus T

Sarayuth Chaikamdee

Name: Sarayuth Chaikamdee

Nationality: Thai

Position: Striker

Years spent with Port: 2001-04, 2007, 2010

Sarayuth had three spells at Port between 2001-2010 scoring 71 league goals in 112 appearances, earning him the nickname โจ้ห้าหลา ‘5-yard Joe’ due to his ruthlessness from close-range. He was not everyone’s cup of tea due to his perceived selfishness – he adopted a shoot-on-sight policy and insisted on taking free-kicks and penalties – but that hunger and desire to score goals set him apart from the vast majority of Thai strikers we’ve seen at Port in the last 10 years. His international record of 31 goals in 49 games was testament to his finishing prowess.

It’s a real shame we couldn’t keep hold of him for a couple more years. He never really looked the same player after leaving PAT Stadium. Port was a good fit for him; he was the skipper, he was indulged and the fans loved him, which brought out the best in him. Moments like his AFC Cup hat-trick against Sriwijaya and the League Cup semi-final brace against Navy will live long in the memory.

Profile by Marcus T