R. Arumugam

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Datuk R. Arumugam
Personal information
Full name Datuk R. Arumugam
Date of birth 31 January 1953
Place of birth Port Klang, Selangor, Malaysia
Date of death 18 December 1988(1988-12-18) (aged 35)
Place of death Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Playing position Goalkeeper
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1971–1988 Selangor FA 394 (2)
Total 394 (2)
National team
1973–1986 Malaysia 196 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 20 January 2007.
† Appearances (Goals).

Datuk R. Arumugam (also known as Spiderman) was a legendary Malaysian national football player from Selangor. His exceptionally long arms and brilliant saves have earned him the nickname "Spiderman". He was born on 31 January 1953 in Port Klang, Selangor. He started his football career at a very young age.


He made his debut for Selangor FA when he was 18 years old in the Burnley Cup Youth Tournament in 1971. He represented Selangor FA in the Malaysia Cup tournament from 1972 to 1988, a period during which Selangor FA won the Malaysia Cup eight times.


R. Arumugam earned his first call up to the Malaysia national football team in 1973 for the World Cup qualifying round matches in Seoul, South Korea. During his time with the national team, he helped Malaysia win Merdeka Tournament in 1973, 1974, 1976 and 1979. He also represented Malaysia in the 1973, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1983 and 1985 Sea Games. His greatest achievement with the national team was the football bronze medal of the 1974 Asian Games in Tehran. He also helped Malaysia to qualify for the 1980 Moscow Olympics Games but Malaysia decided to boycott the Games. R. Arumugam has earned 196 caps(not all A class international matches) for Malaysia during his time with the national team since 1973 when he retired from international football in 1986. His personal goal was to earn 200 caps.

After retirement[edit]

R.Arumugam did more than play the game. In 1983, he formed his own club, Starbrite SC, as part of his personal contribution to the youngsters in his housing area.

Death & Legacy[edit]

He was killed in a car accident at Federal Highway near Petaling Jaya on 18 December 1988. He is survived by wife Maria Selvie, and two daughters, Subha Arumugam and Rubha Arumugam.

In recognition of his services to both state and nation, the Football Association of Selangor and Public Bank where Arumugam was employed started a trust fund in the name of R. Arumugam on 5 January 1989. He was awarded Panglima Jasa Negara (PJN) which carried title "Datuk" by Yang Dipertuan Agong on 4 June 2011.