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Wednesday, 30 March 2011


dedicated to zakaria shariff's daughter, ikha

(Click on pic for enlarged view).





1968 RUGBY

When I first started this blog in June 2009 encouraged by Chung Chee Min, I mentioned the names of several outstanding students from Pasar Road English School I (primary) who graduated to Victoria Institution as follows: 

"I had never actually set foot in VI before that day. But famous PRES names like Zakaria (Zak) Shariff (soccer talisman and athlete), Yap Kian Fui (soccer/athletics), Wong Wei Wah, Wong Chee Seng, Chong Kwong Chin, Yap Kim Shin, Chong Kok Weng, Dave Chin Peng Hoon (football goalkeeper then, now of Dave’s Deli fame) 'Tiger' Thiagarajah (athlete) and Selvaraj (badminton) had made it there in earlier years and we took comfort that we had friends there." .

I am not the only one who remembers Zakaria Shariff. Here's a comment from one Hedir Aminudin:

"Ha ha , I am from the 1967 Form 1 Batch. Super Mokh was your batch but Zakaria Shariff and Datuk Dino were the stars then. If only we knew what path such pains lead us , if only we knew............It has been a privilege to pass this Victorian passage. Enjoyed the moments."

Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather when I received this comment a week ago:

"Greetings, was googling my father's name and came across your blog. I am the daughter of Zakaria Sharif. I have to say, I'm really touched by some of the compliments made about my father's style of playing. I've yet to pass on these compliments to my dad but will real soon. I'm sure he'll be just as touched. Thank you." Ikha Zakaria 22/03/11.

To which I replied as follows:

"Hi Ikha

I remember your father Zakaria Shariff well as during his schooldays as he lived in Imbi Rd not far from my home in Jalan Pelandok, Pasar Road and was a classmate of my eldest brother in PRES 1. He was 3 years older than me. My brother and Zakaria had a common PRES 1 school friend, Siak Poh (footballer and athlete sprinter) whose father ran a sundry shop (circa 1960) in Jln Imbi near the Postal Grounds. I believe the shop still exists!

More than that, he was also a 1st XV rugby player in Victoria Institution where he was HM Murugesu's "pet."

Whatever sports he was involved in - football, rugby, athletics - he played with inimitable style, verve and skill - and was popular with all the students as well as teachers. I tried to copy his style of dribbling and goal scoring in football. When in Form 5, he sustained a head injury during a rugby match and half the school visited him in hospital! That's how well known and popular he was in VI.

I also recall your father turned out for the Selangor State Team a few occassions with Mazlan Harun (former Selangor MB's son).

 Warm regards to your father. He probably won't remember me from his VI days, but I sure do him."

To which Ikha followed up with :

"I've showed my dad this blog and he was extremely flattered by the compliments given. He said that he would like to know your name and maybe if you'd like, you can contact him at...."

I think Zak, as he was popularly known, was either PRES 1  School Captain or Vice Captain in 1962 and also Sportsman of The Year. Certainly many like me hero worshipped the likes of Zak and others in PRES 1 and VI. Do remember that race was no barrier to such things in the '60's!

As a sportsman of lesser talent but a keen follower, I have always placed importance on the classical way football or any game is played. In soccer, it's either the Brazilian Samba Way or the highway for me. So, it was Pele, Tostao, Gerson, Jairzinho, Socrates, George Best and that kind of style and god forbid if I should ever meet Gert Mueller or even Rooney in person because I would sure commit homicide!

And that was what Zak personified on the field. Style, grace, elegance and sportsmanship.

Thank god I grew up in Malaysia in that era.

So. Zak, as they say, THANKS for the memories!

Above are clipping about Zak's football exploits provided by Ikah with the following narration:

Highlighted on MCIS whip Police article on Scan2.jpg: Zakaria Shariff took the score to 3-0 in the 55th and was on target with his penalty target on the 66th.

Highlighted on Pasokan Malaysia hampir lagi tewas di-tangan MCIS article on Scan2.jpg: 3 minit kemudian, 2 minit sa-belum permainan sa-paroh masa tamat, MCIS berjaya menyamakan kedudukan melalui tendangan yang dijaring oleh Zakaria Shariff setelah pengadil Raju membatalkan M. Chandran kerana kekasaran.

Caption under the picture of Scan3(2).jpg: Malaysia's Zakaria Shariff (in white) tussles, with Philippine centre-half E. Ueloso during Asian Youth semi final round match at Seoul on Sunday. Malaysia won 2-1


I don't have ikha's email address since she replied through Blogger Comment. But I do have Zak's handphone number provided by Ikha. So, if anyone wants to contact Zak, please email me at


  1. If I remember right, Zak had a tremendous left leg (besides his other great talents),

  2. Michael Nettleton30 March 2011 at 19:23

    As some of you know and met when I last visited Kuala Lumpur, I now reside in the United Kingdom and it gives me great pleasure as an old Victorian, to read about the past heros.
    I remember Zakaria well(a good looking chap too)and what a sportsman. I remember watching a rugby game he once played in and was concussed. Everyone was frantic and worried.
    Anyway good to know he is well.
    Can we have something about my VI classmate Mokhtar Dahari, who I gather passed away at his 'prime'. I never got to know how or what happened.
    I look foward to more write ups.
    Michael Nettleton

  3. Yo Tharma

    You are absolutely right. He had a fantastic left leg which produced thunderkicks and he had a talent for converting rugby penalties too.

  4. Hi Mike

    I've already written whatever I could recollect about Mokhtar in earlier blogs. Perhaps you or some other classmate could provide more details.

    Best regards


  5. Mike

    Here's some info on Mokhtar at

    "..Mokhtar died at age 37 years-old of Muscular dystrophy at Subang Jaya Medical Centre (SJMC) at 8:25 am on 11 July 1991.."


  7. Zakaria was my classmate for many years. A gentleman, always very very well dressed if I remember, with every hair on his head in place. Bloody handsome too!!! I expected him to play for Malaysia one day - dunno what happened. I remember a left-footed thunderbolt from half line against Malay College KK. 1967 I think it was. All I remember seeing was the back of the net move! No - did not play with him because he did not hang around for Form Six. My salutations to a great Victorian.
    Dya (Daya) Singh

  8. Yeah Dya (Daya Singh), thanks for pointing that out about his dressing. He was immaculate whether in school, on the field or elsewhere. Yup, he had a thing about hairdo! Style was his hallmark.

    I sure would like to hear more about him from those who were his classmates and soccer/rugby team mates like Dinabandu, Kim Chuan, Ganeson, Kim eng etc.

    Most of all he was very approachable, had a quick smile for everyone and had no airs about him.

  9. Pedro

    I didn't know he had a younger brother. Was he in VI too?


  10. hi dpp,

    wow this is something. thank you very much for the post. by the way, i have a few newspaper cuttings on my dad. i'll e-mail them to you soon if you'd like to add them to this post.

    P.s: Pedro is talking about my father's older brother, Mahmood. he doesnt have a younger brother.

  11. Hi Ikah

    Thanks for dropping by. Sure, do send some material to add on to the blog. The above pics were scanned in from old VI school magazine, The Victorian.



  12. Hi dpp,

    I read your article. I suppose I can add on a bit, though I do not remember much.

    Zakaria was my hero throughout PRES1. He was two years my senior.

    When we were in standard ONE, one day, I think there was a strike by the teachers (National Union of Teachers). Zakaria, of 3A, was assigned to look after 1C, my class. We looked up to him. He had a great smile and he commanded our respect and attention. He told a story and started to make a drawing on the large class blackboard. It was an underwater scene of a huge shark and a diver with a spear-gun. I forget the story (I was still learning English as I did not speak much English at all when I entered Standard 1) but I remember the drawing! Rightaway, we noticed and talked among ourselves about his leadership and his talent. He was LEFT-handed (still is) and had talent (someone made that claim about lefthanders), and his was showing.

    Zakaria took part in football, athletics and rugby. There were two others who were outstanding sportsmen, too, but always behind him, by names of Siak Poh and Kim Poh. In atheletics, in the 100 yards, the three always ended up in that order year after year. (I think Kim Poh was best at the stilts race, which was abandoned by the time we came to standard 4 so I have never tried it.) Zakaria was, of course, best known for his football skills and involvement.

    In the second half of the year, PRES1 would switch to afternoon sessions. We would go to school early to play some games like Police and Thief or chopping ball, marbles and tops under the big shady trees outside the single storey row of classrooms. That was before the present 4-storey school building was constructed. Here, we used to watch Zakaria and his friends play marbles. He had talent in that game, too.

    When I was in standard 4, the whole standard were required to go and support the school team in a rugby match in an advance stage of the competition. Zakaria was the Stand-off and kicker. It was an away match, and the ground had trees along one of the sidelines. Everytime, PRES1 had a penalty kick, Zakaria would punt the ball upfield and into touch. We did not know anything about rugby then, so we were thinking that he had lost his kicking touch, sending the ball out of the playing field and into the tall branches of the trees lining the field each time. It was a few years later that I realised that he was kicking well.

    In 1964, we were in standard 6 of PRES1, ruling the school in and outside of the classrooms. Zakaria had left PRES1 and we heard from the teachers that he had gone to VI. Then, one Sunday, I saw a picture, in the Sunday Times among the Sports pages, of the VI Sports Day. It was a photofinish of the Class 3 100 metres race, and Zakaria won narrowly, as described in the caption. I was full of of admiration for him.

    In 1965, we were selected to go to VI. I was glad that I was in the same House (Shaw) as he was. I think Zakaria was in the school football squad then (as a third-former). Anyway, in 1966, I think, VI was in the final of the U20 schools' competition played in the Merdeka Stadium, just behind VI. I remember Zakaria (a Fourth Former) scored two goals, both in the same manner, dribbling and beating his man from the left flank, and slamming in the goals with his favourite left foot. Of course, we won the Cup!


  13. (cont'd)

    It was very sad that Zakaria was badly hurt in a rugby match in his examination year, I think, in 1967. He had a concussion and had to be operated on. I think he missed his exams and had to repeat Form 5 again. (Please check this out.)

    In 1968, he played football for school but he was careful not to head the ball because of the concussion he sustained the year before. He did not partake in any other games that year.
    The photograph of Zakaria in the school rugby team in your article was in 1967 (and not 1968), because Yong Cheng was the Captain, and 1967 was his Upper 6 year. In 1968, I started playing rugby for the VI first XV, (with Boon Chong), and Zakaria was kept out of the Team. But I vaguely remember Zakaria helping in some training sessions for the backs.

    Years later, in the 1980's, I was to meet Zakaria again, at Royal Selangor Club Football. He played a couple of friendly games for RSC. We were in our thirties and enjoying social football. He said he would like to play regularly with us, but he did not turn up after that. We just thought his work had taken him elsewhere. I have not seen him since.

    I do not know Zakaria personally, but I 'knew" him since my days in standard 1 in PRES1. He was my hero in primary school. Of course, by the time we graduated to VI, we found other heroes like Leong Wee Chuen, Nah Seong Hoo, etc. who had an impact on us on and off the field. We chatted a couple of times at RSC in the 1980's. Being from VI, he must have recognised me and acknowledged that we were from the same school.

    There is one other thing I remember. In PRES1, one day, during recess, there was a big fight. It was between Zakaria and Ronald Quay, who was one or two years Zakaria's senior. They were throwing punches at each other. The fight ended with Zakaria landing a punch on Ronald Quay's eye. I think both of them ended up in Chew Ah Kong's room. In my eyes, he elevated his "hero" status. After all, we were young and impressionable.

    Ok, that's about all I remember about Zakaria.

    It is late, so no more editing on the piece.


    Kian Fui

  14. Michael Nettleton14 April 2011 at 23:04

    Kian Fui,a good story and what a memory. You must be retired now and sitting and reminiscing on past events. Looks like you will never suffer from Alzheimer's. I was in PRES2 and went to VI in 1966(Treacher House? in fact I cannot remember all the house names and colours). Just want to remind you that we at PRES2 were better than you lot at PRES1. I am sure we beat you at footballduring my time...........unless someone knows different.

  15. Wow, thanks for the story Uncle Kian Fui. I dont remember my father telling me about his fight with a senior. Its either I forgot or he never told me. Either way, your story was very entertaining.

    I dont spend much time with my father now as I am living with my mother and am quite busy with my studies. Due to this post, I am able to read all this stories about my father's past life. It reminded me of the old days when I was younger, during our car rides my father would tell me his memorable experiences as a young fellow himself. Im glad that dpp actually took the time to post this.

    So dpp, thank you very much for the post. And to all, thanks for reminding me of why I look up to my father.

  16. Hi Ikha,
    My name is Low See Keng. I played alongside your Dad for 2 seasons (1967-1968). He was really a terrific/fantastic player. We won many championships together and this blog has brought back many wonderful memories. I should say that during the 60's, our VI football team was truly a "1Malaysia" team. How is your Dad? I have been away from Malaysia for many,many years and would like to be in contact. Tq

  17. I was Zakaria's classmate from Std.1 till Form 3 after which we were in different streams.I was fellow Prefect with him in PRES(1) and he was the Captain.Zak and i think his brother Mat Noor loved football from young.His neighbour in Imbi road N.Selvaraj served as goalkeeper in the VI school team.I last met Zak when he was organiser for a wrestling show.Zak is always cheerful and full of energy.Yes he was great in VI and in PRES(1) too.


  18. Mr See Keng, you can e-mail me at or e-mail dpp for my dad's contact number.

  19. Zakaria,

    I'm in KL 13th-17th February 2012 and would love to meet up with you after all those years. And anyone else who remembers me!

    Ipoh born, PRES(1), VI (1964-1970) & VIAS. Now at;;;

    Best wishes, Khong Teck Keong -

  20. I guess you guys aware the school have been demolish recently. Propose for development

  21. I guess you guys aware the school have been demolish recently. Propose for development