Football: See you soon, Syed Ahmad – the legend who led the football team to the Munich Olympics in 1972

KUALA LUMPUR: National football legend Syed Ahmad Syed Abu Bakar (Photo) breathed his last at Kangar Hospital in Perlis yesterday afternoon after a two-year battle with prostate cancer. He was 76 years old.

The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) said in a statement on Facebook that the former national champion leaves behind his wife, Samihah Razali, and five children.

Syed Ahmad’s son, Syed Abu Bakar Syed Ahmad, 40, said his father’s health had recently deteriorated.

“My father was admitted to hospital two days ago after his condition started to deteriorate about a month ago,” he said.

Syed Ahmad, born in Pontian, Johor on April 20, 1946, will be remembered as the hero who helped the national team qualify for the Munich Olympics in 1972.

He scored five goals en route to helping coaches Dave McLaren and Jalil Che Din beat South Korea, Japan, the Philippines and Taiwan in the 1971 Seoul qualifiers, but Syed Ahmad, sadly, was fired from the job. team in Munich.

Syed Ahmad, who began his football career representing Johor in the Combined Schools competition, went on to play in the Burnley Cup in 1961 before representing the country from 1966 to 1974, helping the national team win the Merdeka tournament in 1966, 1968 and 1974.

Although he started his football career in his home country, Syed Ahmad rose to fame and left his legacy with three Northern teams – Penang (1965-1972), Perak (1972-1980) and Kedah (1980 -nineteen eighty one).

Syed Ahmad will always be remembered for the goal he scored in the pre-Olympic qualifiers in 1971 when he netted a perfect cross from Looi Loon Teik in the 56th minute to help Malaysia beat South Korea. His heroics came just two days after scoring a hat-trick in the 3-0 win over 1968 Olympic bronze medalists Japan.

At the 1974 Asian Games in Tehran, Syed Ahmad, Mokhtar Dahari and Isa Bakar forged a formidable attacking triumvirate as Malaysia scored 20 goals en route to the bronze medal after beating North Korea 2-1.

Sandwiched between two eras – the days of Abdul Ghani Minhat, who was hailed as Raja Bola (King of Football) in the 1950s and 60s, and Mokhtar, nicknamed Supermokh, in the 1970s – Syed Ahmad scored in the Malaysian Cup final. in 1968 and 1969 (with Penang) and 1974 (with Perak) but never lifted the coveted trophy. — Bernama

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