Google Doodle pays tribute to Malaysian football legend SuperMokh

PETALING JAYA - Google celebrated Malaysian football legend Datuk Mokhtar Dahari's birthday Thursday with one of its special doodles.

The latest Google Doodle features the late Mokhtar wearing his famed no.10 jersey as an illustration on a tifo (banner) held up by fans in a stadium.

In the Malaysia-specific search page, Mokhtar is depicted with his arms outstretched, with his head forming the second "O" in the word "Google".

The man fondly known as 'SuperMokh' died on July 11, 1991 at the age of 37 due to muscular dystrophy, and would have turned 61 today (Nov 13).

Mokhtar, who struck fear in the hearts of defenders throughout Asia in his heyday, was named as one of the top 30 Asian players of the century by Asian sports journalists and International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) experts in 1998.

He played for Selangor and the national team from 1972 to 1985. He was known for his strength, speed and ability to dribble past players with ease. His thunderous shots were also a key attribute of his game.

During his era, the Malaysian team, which had players like Santokh Singh, R. Arumugam and Soh Chin Aun, used to defeat Asian heavyweights like South Korea and Japan, and won the Merdeka Cup several times.

He also helped Malaysia qualify for the 1980 Olympics in Munich, but the nation did not compete after joining the American-led boycott.

Mokhtar briefly retired in 1986 but returned in January 1987 to play another season with his beloved club Selangor.

He retired after that season and did not play again competitively due to injuries and eventually took up coaching.

In 1989, he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease and died at the-then Subang Jaya Medical Centre after a three-year battle with the disease.

Commonly known as Google Doodles, these are changes that are made to the Google logo to celebrate historic events or lives of notable individuals, and can be displayed internationally or on its country-specific pages.