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Mokhtar Dahari: The Untold Truth About Selangor Legend (SuperMokh)

Mokhtar Dahari (1953 – 1991) was one of the iconic footballer’s of the 1970s, and one of Malaysia’s most legendary strikers. He became one of the best players in Asia in the 1970s. Mokhtar showed interest in playing football at an early age when his family moved to Kampung Pandan, Setapak at the age of 11. He played for his school and later for his home state, Selangor FA.


mokhtar dahari legend malaysia

Arwahyarham Mokhtar Dahari

He was only nineteen years old when he first played for the Malaysia national football team in an international game. Mokhtar helped Selangor FA win the Malaysia Cup 10 times and scored 177 goals altogether. In international games, 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.


He was nicknamed SuperMokh because of his playing skills, his strength and his ability to score many incredible goals throughout his career. The Merdeka Stadium was his second home amidst roars of “SuperMokh” from the young generation who worshipped him. Along with goalkeeper R Arumugam, defenders Santokh Singh and Soh Chin Aun, midfielders Reduan Abadullah and Shukor Salleh and Mokhtar’s partner up front, Isa Bakar, the Selangor FA and Malaysia national football team were a force to be reckoned with in the 70′s.   
One of Mokhtar’s famous moment was when Mokhtar Dahari shook hands with Diego Maradona before a friendly game with Boca Juniors.


Mokhtar Dahari Supermokh and Diego Armando Maradona

Mokhtar Dahari was changing souvenir with Diego Maradona at Stadium Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur

His first international appearance for Malaysia against Sri Lanka was 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.

mokhtar dahari supermokh victory

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.


mokhtar dahari skill




Date of Birth: 13 November 1953

Place of Birth: Setapak, Selangor (Now in Kuala Lumpur)

Mother’s Name: Aminah Binti Sharikan

Father;s Name: Dahari Abeng

Father’s Occupation: lorry driver

Secondary School: Victoria Institution, Kuala Lumpur

Wife’s Name: Zarina Binti Ibrahim

Eldest daughter’s name: Nur Azera Mohd Mokhtar

Eldest Son’s Name: Mohd Reza Mohd Mokhtar

Youngest Daughter’s Name: Nur Arina Mohd Mokhtar


mokhtar dahari wife and son (family) 



Below are an exclusive interview session within The Seladang Editorial Board and “SuperMokh” at his home, on 1982


The Seladang Editorial Board:

“How did you get into V.I.?”.



“It’s a rather long story, but I’ll cut it short. You see, I entered V.I. in Form One. It was 1966 then. I stayed there for about four years till 1970. Actually I never expected to go to V.I.”


But since he was active in school sports in his primary days that was probably one of the reasons why he was selected.


As someone who enjoys sporting activities and who has wide interests, SuperMokh was not only in the V.I football team but also in its rugby team besides playing hockey, basketball and swimming for his House.


The Seladang Editorial Board:

“Life must have been fun, being a known figure in school?”



“No, not exactly. I wasn’t really known at that time as there were other prominent personalities to compete against, like the school athletes, for example. Were we taken aback! But I got by. Fame never comes easy, as the saying goes.”


The Seladang Editorial Board:

“Then how did you get into the limelight?”



“Well, that came only after I left school. It was during a trial play with the Selangor Junior Squad at the Piala Razak Tournament. Later, my manager, Mr M J Vincent, recommmended that I join the senior squad and from then everything started coming my way.”


The Seladang Editorial Board:

“Was it then that you got into the Selangor team?”



“Yes it was. It was 1972. I’ll always remember the year as it was during that year I was chosen for the Malaysia A Team after my splendid performance in Jakarta while in the B Team.


The Seladang Editorial Board:

What about your school days? What was the training like?”.



“Well, the truth is that I was just an average player. My position was left wing striker. Even now I feel that the training methods of my school days were very raw. There weren’t any qualified coaches at all. But Cikgu Othman Mohd Ali, our school coach, was really something. Though he taught us only from experience, he was very good. We were very disciplined and individual fitness was maintained.  Sometimes we even had centralized training when we had to stay in the school!”


The Seladang Editorial Board:

“But the parents!. Didn’t they ever object to all this?”



“Naturally. But they accepted it later on. They let nature take its course.”


SuperMokh told The Seladang Editorial Board more about the V.I. besides sports, football and training. He remembered the prefects well enough to have vivid memories of them.



“They were a strict bunch. They even warned me for having my bicycle modified. I was sent to detention class, once or twice, I think, where I had to polish hinges. Well, that was swell enough for me!. My worse experience was when I failed two subjects and the report card given out on the same day that I was supposed to play against R.M.C. in the finals. But a couple of whacks from the Headmaster was enough to put some fire into my playing. We won the match as expected.”


The Seladang Editorial Board:

“What about your most memorable experience? Could it be any better than your worse,” we asked inquisitively.



“My most memorable experience was, of course, the solitary goal I helped to score in the 1970 Laxamana Cup against the MCKK. This is one more of the things I’ll always remember.


The Seladang Editorial Board:

“Haven’t you thought of coaching?” we asked.



“Coaching? Actually I was asked a few years back to coach the V.I. football team but because of my commitments and job, I’d rather leave it to Mr Rajasingam, who I personally think is very good.”


The Seladang Editorial Board:

“Mokhtar, after all this talk about football and school, what about yourself? Do you mind telling us?”



“Of course not! For a start, I’m an Executive Officer at PKNS, I am the Selangor State Football Captain and also the National Football Captain. At times I think these are too much for me but I get by like I used to, thanks to my own strategies and to my wife, Tengku Zarina and her encouragement. There was one time when I was asked to play for some other countries but I turned down the offer. I like listening to sentimental tunes, especially those of Air Supply and The Alley Cats. Lastly I would like to say that I’m proud to be a Victorian and may it be wiser every day.”


mokhtar dahari picture




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)




Mokhtar began having throat problems and went to the hospital to find out what the problem was. Doctors diagnosed him as having Motor Neurone Disease (MND). According to his wife, his condition was told only to Mokhtar and his wife. Mohktar went to London with his wife in an attempt to cure his condition.


The press later claimed that Mokhtar was diagnosed with Muscular dystrophy, a rumour that convinced a lot of people.


After 3 years battling the disease, Mokhtar died at Subang Jaya Medical Centre. The press, believing that Mokhtar died of Muscular Dystrophy, reported Mokhtar’s suffering from Muscular Dystrophy and his subsequent death. This caused a confusion about how he died.


His story and the cause of his death was later revealed for the first time in a documentary “The Untold Truth About Supermokh,” on The National Geographic Channel on August 30, 2010, featuring Mokhtar’s friends and family. It was confirmed that Mokhtar died at the age 37 of Motor neurone disease (Later to be revealed by Mokhtar’s wife) at Subang Jaya Medical Centre (SJMC) at 8:25 am on 11 July 1991. His body was laid to rest at Taman Keramat Permai Muslim Cemetery, Bukit Permai.




Source and picture courtesy of: Hall Of Fame, The Seladang and Wikipedia.
Video courtesy of: Youtube, National Geographic and koalacute.

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