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Ex-Olympian who scored in Munich Games passes away
Published on: Saturday, November 18, 2017

Kuala Lumpur: Wan Zawawi Wan Yusof, a 1972 Munich Olympian who scored in Malaysia's 3-0 win over the United States, died in Kuantan, Friday. He was 68, reported the New Straits Times.

Playing at the Olympics was one of the finest moments in Wan Zawawi's long and distinguished football career with the national team, Kelantan, Pahang and Prisons.

Born on April 11, 1949 in Kota Baru, Wan Zawawi represented Kelantan in the Burnley Cup before progressing to the senior team and playing in the 1970 Malaysia Cup final which they lost 2-0 to Perak.

He joined the Prisons Department in 1970 and helped their football team win the FAM Cup, then the premier inter-state knockout tournament in the country, in 1970, 1971 and 1973.

After transferring to Kuantan in 1974, he played for Pahang until his retirement from football in 1981.

But it was with the national team where Wan Zawawi enjoyed his finest moments including securing Olympic qualification by beating South Korea in Seoul in 1971 and winning an Asian Games bronze medal in Tehran in 1974.

In a 2016 interview with Berita Harian, Wan Zawawi described playing and scoring at the 1972 Olympics as the pinnacle achievement of his career.

"Playing at the Olympics meant a lot to me but to score a goal made it even more special," said Wan Zawawi, who formed a formidable midfield trio with Salleh Ibrahim and Wong Choon Wah.

"When we played the US, they thought we'd be afraid and nervous but after Salleh scored the first goal, they panicked.

"We took our chances and from Choon Wah's pass, I scored the third goal."

Wan Zawawi first pulled on the national jersey when he was selected for the 1969 Asian Youth Championship and made his senior team debut the following year at the Bangkok Asian Games.

Besides the 1974 Asian Games bronze, Wan Zawawi also won two Seap Games gold medals in 1971 and 1975 and featured in Malaysia's victorious Merdeka Tournament campaigns in 1971 and 1974 and the South Vietnam Republic Day Cup in 1971.

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