John Hunter needs no introduction to Sarawakians and Malaysian football fans.
The Australian had grabbed headlines constantly during his time with Sarawak FA and was considered one of the most feared strikers in the country.
While his glory days have long passed him, Hunter remains an important figure in Sarawak football until today with younger fans still told of greatness every time the topic of Sarawak football comes up.
With that in mind, we look at why John Hunter, nick named ‘The white buffalo’ by Malaysian press when he was playing, is still very important to Sarawak football.
A living legend
Now a grandfather, Hunter is a living legend to Sarawak football fans. This means he can still inspire today’s football players as well as aspiring football players in person. The Football Association of Sarawak had seen this opportunity and capitalized on it by flying Hunter in a couple of times to inspire their young players.
A benchmark to import strikers
Sarawak FA had many import strikers in the past, but none so far could live up to the hype and achievements of Hunter. Hunter scored a total of 50 goals with Sarawak alone, hence making him the most successful striker Sarawak had ever had in history. To cap it off, Hunter is also the second longest serving import player for Sarawak, behind David Evans.
Symbol of hope
Hunter is a symbol of hope for Sarawak football. Although Alan Vest should be credited for the 1992 FA trophy, it was Hunter that showed Sarawak FA was hungry enough to win it. Not only did Hunter play his heart out during the years he was with Sarawak, he also made sure opponents feared Sarawak whenever they played against it. On top of that, Hunter also represents proof that Sarawak football can win trophies.
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This article is brought to us by our Sports Writers Club resident columnist – Cyril Dason.