R. Arumugam

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R. Arumugam
Personal information
Full name Arumugam a/l Rengasamy
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

Datuk Arumugam Rengasamy (also known as Spiderman) was a legendary Malaysian national football player from Selangor. His long arms and difficult saves earned him the nickname "Spiderman". He was born on 31 January 1953 in Port Klang, Selangor. He started his football career at a 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 was called 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, Malaysia won the Merdeka Tournament in 1973, 1974, 1976, 1979 and 1986. He also represented Malaysia in the 1973, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1983 and 1985 Sea Games. He won a bronze medal with the national team during the 1974 Asian Games in Tehran. Malaysia also qualified for the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games, but Malaysia decided to boycott the Games. R. Arumugam recorded 196 caps (not all A class international matches) during his time with the Malaysia national team. His personal goal was to earn 200 caps. He retired in 1986.

After retirement[edit]

In 1983, he formed his own club, Starbrite SC, as part of his personal contribution to the youngsters in his housing area.[citation needed]

Death and legacy[edit]

R. Arumugam died in a car accident at Federal Highway near Petaling Jaya on 18 December 1988. He was 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 had been employed, started a trust fund in his name on 5 January 1989. On 4 June 2011, Yang Dipertuan Agong posthumously awarded him the Panglima Jasa Negara (PJN), which carries the title "Datuk".

The character of Muthu Kumar in Ola Bola, a 2016 film chronicling the Malaysian national team's road to the 1980 Olympic qualifiers, was based on Arumugam.[citation needed]


Honours of Malaysia[edit]


  1. ^ "Semakan Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang dan Pingat".
  2. ^ "Semakan Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang dan Pingat".

External links[edit]