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Tuesday November 5, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Tuesday November 5, 2013 MYT 7:57:50 AM
by y.p. sivamphotos by k.k. sham
Mokhtar in remembrance: Sultan Sharafuddin launching the book.
FORMER international Khan Hung Meng was one of the first to purchase the book Mokhtar Dahari — Legenda Bola Sepak Malaysia (Mokhtar Dahari — Malaysia’s Football Legend) when it was launched at Istana Alam Shah in Klang recently.
Hung Meng, who had played alongside the striker for almost six years in the early 80s, said Mokhtar was indeed a legend and a good friend.
“I don’t know the contents of the book, but I am sure it will be a collector’s item. When going through the book it will certainly bring back the good old days I had spent with him. He was a disciplined player. I am indeed proud to have been his teammate. We shared many happy moments which I will cherish,’’ said Hung Meng.
The 244-page book, with pictorials, including pictures from Mokhtar’s family’s collections, was launched by Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, who is an ardent football fan and an admirer of Mokhtar.
“I had known Mokhtar since his young age. He was a dedicated player and gave his best to Selangor. He was so committed to football that he never wanted to be on the losing side. During those good old days, Selangor were a formidable force and had players from all races. They were like a family. I would like to see the same spirit among the players in the current Selangor team,’’ said Sultan Sharafuddin.
The book, a brainchild of Sultan Sharafuddin, was written by Zinitulniza Abdul Kadir and published by the Malaysian Institute of Translation and Books.
The launch was also a prelude to a musical — SuperMokh the Musical — to be staged at Istana Budaya in Kuala Lumpur from Nov 6 to 18. The musical, a work by Tall Order Productions and Jugra Publication, will tell the life of Mokhtar the football hero, the husband, the father and the friend, as well as unveil the trials he faced on and off the pitch.
SuperMokh The Musical is co-directed by actor, producer and former model Hans Isaac and writer, actor and comedian Harith Iskander. Michael Veerapan is musical director. Rock singer and actor Awie will play the role of Mokhtar in the musical.
Sultan Sharafuddin urged football fans in Malaysia to not only purchase the book to know more about Mokhtar but also watch the musical.
Mokhtar started his national football career in 1972 when he was only 19.
During his illustrious 18-year career, he was hailed as the best striker in Malaysia and scored more than 170 goals. He had also played a prominent role in Selangor’s success in the Malaysia Cup competition.
He retired after helping Selangor win the Malaysia Cup in 1986. In the final, played at the Merdeka Stadium, Selangor defeated Johor 6-1.
In the late 1980s, he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease, a rare condition where parts of the nervous system become damaged, causing progressive body weakness as the muscles waste away. After three years of battling the disease, he died from it in July 1991. He was just 37 years old.
At the launch of the book, Mokhtar’s son Muhammad Reza presented his father’s Malaysia Cup medal which he won in 1986 to Sultan Sharafuddin.
Mokhtar’s wife Datin Tengku Zarina Tengku Ibrahim and several former teammates and coaches including Datuk Santokh Singh, Reduan Abdullah, Saidin Osman, K. Gunasekaran, Ahmad Mahmud, Bakri Ibni and Datuk M. Kuppan were present.
Kuppan, who was the national coach in the 70s, said Mokhtar was the most disciplined and dedicated player he had coached.
“He goes the extra mile to excel. Eventually we became family friends and his family used to visit me in Penang. Mokhtar will always be an icon in Malaysian football,’’ said Kuppan.
Gunasekaran, a defender, who played with Mokhtar for six years in the 80s, said the striker was lethal with his headers.
“I was the leftback and he would always look for my crosses which resulted in goals,’’ said Gunasekaran.
Reduan had the privilege to play alongside Mokhtar for PKNS and Selangor.
Reduan, a nippy midfielder, said Mokhtar was more than a teammate.
“We started at about the same time. We had tasted a lot of success as teammates. We stayed on as friends after my retirement,’’ said Reduan.
Santokh Singh said he was happy to be at the launch of the book.
“The Sultan is a big fan of Mokhtar and he had initiated the book. The youngsters will be able to get an idea of Mokhtar’s illustrious career from the book,’’ said Santokh Singh.
The book is available at major bookstores at RM180 (Peninsula) and RM195 (Sabah/Sarawak).
Tickets for SuperMokh The Musical are priced at RM46, RM96, RM106, RM126, RM166, RM206, RM236 and RM306 for the night shows while for the matinee (Nov 9, 10, 16 and 17), they are priced at RM38, RM78, RM96, RM102, RM134, RM166, RM190 and RM246. Get them at www.ticket2u.biz.
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Central Region, Community Sports, football
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