The late Mokhtar Dahari
Year Inducted: 2004
He is hailed as one of the iconic footballer’s of the 1970s, and one of Malaysia’s most legendary strikers. He was instrumental in steering Selangor to win the Malaysia Cup 10 times, scoring 177 goals in total. Internationally, he scored 125 goals in 167 appearances for the Malaysian team, including matches in the Asian Games, Pre Olympic Games and Pre World Cup.
Mokhtar Dahari hailed from Setapak, Selangor, and was only 19 years old when he made his first international appearance for Malaysia against Sri Lanka in the 1972 Jakarta Anniversary Tournament. Mokhtar won his 100th cap for the Malaysian national team when he played in a Merdeka Football Tournament match against Japan in 1976.
In 1975, Mokhtar represented the Malaysian national football team against English giants Arsenal F.C. Malaysia won 2-0, with Mokhtar scoring both goals. It was rumoured that he received an offer to play for the Gunners. He also famously scored a goal almost single-handedly, in a 1-1 draw against England’s national team’s B Team in 1978. Mokhtar has also donned the national colours more than 150 times, including the Asian Games, Pre-Olympic Games, Pre-World Cup, and Asian Cup finals among others.
In those years, Malaysian football was at its best and players like Mokhtar made the game an interesting watch. His mobility and speed, flexibility and the ability to unleash sudden powerful shots with both his feet enthralled supporters and fans. Crowds would gather at the Merdeka Stadium to watch this spectacular “Number 10” and it was not uncommon to hear roars of “Super Mokh” rippling through the crowd during a match.
After winning the Malaysia Cup for his home-state Selangor and being crowned the Best Player in the Merdeka Cup of 1986, Mokhtar decided to retire from his illustrious football career. He came out of retirement in January the following year to play one more season for Selangor FC, much to the delight of his fans.
11 July 1991 was a heartbreaking day for Malaysians. Mokhtar Dahari passed away of muscular dystrophy at the age of 37. A legendary footballer during his time, Mokhtar Dahari is a name that will definitely never be forgotten.
1972 - Jakarta Anniversary Tournament [Represented Malaysia for the first time]
1975 - Asian Games in Teheran [Bronze medal]
1975 - Friendly match with Arsenal FC, [Malaysia won 2-0, scored both goals]
1976 - Merdeka Football Tournament [Won 100th cap for Malaysia], Malaysia Cup [Champions]
1977 - Sportsman of the Year award
1979 - SEA Games, Jakarta [Gold medal]
1982 - Led Selangor FA in a friendly against Boca Juniors (captain: Diego Maradona)
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