Friday, July 10, 2009

Mokhtar's legacy outlives his death

Tomorrow commomerates the 18th year of Mokhtar Dahari's death. RTM's TV1 ran a nostalgic tribute last night on Sekilas Liga, featuring rare footages of Mokhtar's trademark marauding runs culminating with goals against Arsenal (1975) and Singapore (1987). Read my tribute last year here. UPDATED Read Tony Mariadass' 15 minutes with Supermokh.

His emergence coincided with arguably the nation's most glorious decade but Mokhtar was not involved on the two occasions the team qualified for the Olympics. He was too young when Syed Ahmad Abu Bakar propelled the team to Munich in the pre-Olympics in 1971. In 1980, plagued by a knee injury and a bruised ego for unjustly being accused of matchfixing, Mokhtar was in self-imposed retirement when Hassan Sani and James Wong combined to beat South Korea and Japan in the qualifiers.

Zian Johari and S.C. Sekaran reporting for New Straits Times, 1976. Before a crowd of 55,000, Mokhtar scored twice against a Japanese side that boasted Kamamoto and Okudera on Aug 22. Mokhtar was probably at the heights of his powers then for a year later his knee went under the surgeon's knives

Back row: Azraai Khor @ Khor Sek Leng, P. Umaparam, Isa Bakar.
Middle: Irfan Bakti Abu Salim, Mokhtar, R. Arumugam, team official. Front: Zainuddin Kassim, Rashid Hassan, Yahya Jusoh

The team that beat Japan and Kamamoto and Co 2-0 in 1976 Merdeka Tournament. Mokhtar standing fourth from right

Former Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra with the squad circa 1976


Dunia Sukan, published by Utusan Malaysia, circa 1979

Though Mokhtar was considered one of the best footballers in Asia, he could have created a bigger legacy had he pursued a career overseas. I wonder how things would have turned out had he had the courage to blaze the pro trail the way his contemporaries - South Korea's Cha Bum Keun and Yasuhiko Okudera of Japan - did in the Bundesliga. Mokhtar received offers from Middle Eastern countries and greatly impressed Bobby Robson, the Ipswich manager who brought England B to Kuala Lumpur in 1978.
Yasuhiko Okudera

Cha Bum Keun


Volkswagen's sole importer, Datuk Zulkifli Ishak, a Johannian (naturally wearing green), and Bursa Malaysia CEO, Datuk Yusli Mohamed (right), like Mokhtar a Victorian, naming the trophy the Mokhtar Dahari Cup

SJI v VI

14 comments:

Mawar Juaseh said...

Bro,

Pembetulan.... pemain yang misai tebal tu bukan Zainuddin Kassim tapi Zainuddin Hussein, antara pemain Negeri Sembilan yang menyerlah di zaman keagungan bolaepak kita sedikit masa lalu.

al-brangi said...

salam,

berapa abad lagi sebutir lagi bintang sepertinya akan lahir?

Anonymous said...

Mokhtar Dahari Cup
Piala Mokhtar Dahari

magnificent...thanks Supermokh.



For the Game. For the World.

muhammad hakimi said...

Saya terkilan kerana sepanjang pembabitan saya dlm dunia kewartawanan dan permainan bola sepak tidak pernah sekali dapat mewawancara atau menemubual arwah..namun saya amat menyanjungi arwah yang saya anggap terbaik bagi negara kita yang pasti sukar untuk mendapatkan seseorang sepertinya. Doa saya sentiasa untuk arwah. Wassalam

BAG OF BONES said...

Zal

Back Then we Had "SUPER MOKH"
Today we have "SUPER MOCKERY"

'For the love of the game'

Bag Of Bones
Seremban

afah said...

..salam, LC..
..looks like Malaysia is destined to revel in past glories..18 years after his death, we have no one..no one..that comes close to him..

Anonymous said...

Selepas 18 tahun, apa yang mampu kita lahirkan ialah pentadbir yang gila kuasa dan mementingkan kedudukan....

Selepas 18 tahun juga, kita berjaya melahirkan para pemain yang hanya gah dengan rambut panjang, memakai topeng dan meniru aksi pemain-pemain yang tak bertamadun

teachuhman@yahoo.com said...

Bro,

Malaysia is only good in rhetoric.
How long are we going to talk about how good we were and how fantastic our players were.
Yes they were great times and they were great men.
When are we going to start become great now and start creating great moments in the present tense?

rizal hashim said...

mawar juaseh, terima kasih...

al-brangi, seperti aspek kehidupan yang lain yang ketandusan personaliti sohor, tidak mungkin permata bergemerlapan seumpama supermokh lahir dalam abad ini.

muhammad hakimi, saya juga tidak sempat menemu ramahnya.

afah, true, and we will continue to lament...

teachuhman, when we have nothing much to look forward to, we cling on to memories...

teachuhman said...

Zal

Yeah like the good old times when nasi lemak was only 10 cents and serai, daun kunyit and pucuk ubi were unmarketable items

A game of football was truly a game and sports meant competition on the field , honour and dignity were our battle cries. and sportsmen were athletes rather than politicians and businessmen

observer said...

Bro just to inform you that mokhtar is going to be honoured in the form of naming one of the hall's in olympic hotel with his name,thanks to an exinternational called Ow soon kooi.

observer said...

Bro just to inform you that mokhtar is going to be honoured in the form of naming one of the hall's in olympic hotel with his name,thanks to an exinternational called Ow soon kooi.

Uknowmela! said...

game yang sekilas liga tunjuk malam tu adalah game terakhir mokhtar bersama selangor( disahkan oleh reduan abdullah, asst coach team time tu)...........saya lagi la tak sempat...bukan je tak sempat interview, tengok dia main live depan mata pun rasanya tak pernah....kecik lagi time tu. nasib keje rtm, dapat tengok banyak visual, tapi lagi banyak visual yang tak dapat tengok sebab dah hilang@dipadam oleh manusia yang tau menghargai sejarah dan keagungan bola sepak malaysia! hisssshhhh...............

Hakim Amir said...

observer, good to hear that. we shud have football academies named after Mokhtar ...

by the way, Ow Soon Kooi .... that's another legend , albeit in a different field sport ..