PETALING JAYA: Former Malaysian international footballer Datuk M. Chandran (pic) passed away peacefully at his residence in Ampang Jaya on Saturday (Sept 28). He was 77.
The legendary Malaysian and Selangor skipper, who led the country in many occasions, died at 7.30am surrounded by his family members.
Chandran, the son of a train engine driver with the then Malayan Railways, was born in Sungai Siput, Perak.
After moving to Selangor, he started playing football for the Selangor Indian Association (SIA).
He was first noticed by Datuk Harun Idris, the Selangor team manager, when he was with his employer then, Chartered Bank.
Chandran would grow into a strong and capable centreback for Selangor, earning many medals and trophies including the Malaysia Cup. He was part of an enviable line-up of some of Malaysia's most illustrious players of the past.
"At that time I played with footballers like Abdullah Nordin, Chow Chee Keong, Wong Choon Wah, and Dell Akbar Khan, and later with Soh Chin Aun, Santokh Singh, R. Arumugam and Mokhtar Dahari," he recounted in an interview with The Star in 2016.
In 1971, Malaysia topped the Olympic qualification group consisting of South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines to qualify for the first time to 1972 Munich Olympics.
In 1974, Chandran retired from the national team and the following year from Selangor. As one door closed, another opened and Chandran moved into coaching.