Famously known as Spiderman, R Arumugan is easily a household name when it comes to Malaysian football. He was born on January 31, 1953 in Port Klang he was one of those players who were born to play the game. He made his debut into football at the age of 18 representing Selangor.
Representing Selangor from 1972 to 1988, he helped the time to go on and win the Malaysia Cup eight times.
The goalkeeper earned his first cap when he represented the Malaysia national football team in 1973 for the World Cup qualifying round matches in Seoul, South Korea. He is also a bronze medalist for the Asian games in Tehran in 1974. Arumugam was also part of the Malaysian team that qualified for the 1980 Moscow Olympics however the team boycotted that golden opportunity.
He was known to be part of the spine of the team together with Mokthar Dahari and Soh Chin Aun, He agility was second to none and his commanding presence at the goal was a constant fear to team mates and opponents. From his performances it clearly showed like his team mates the pride in wearing the national colours and playing every match like it were a cup finals.
Arumugam passed away on the 18th of December 1988 in a car accident on the federal highway at the age of 35. This news shocked the entire football fraternity and fans. Till today most goalkeepers in this region set Spiderman as a benchmark that they would like to emulate.
It was that era when players were chosen on merit of their performances. All of them who wore the national colours went out to make the nation proud. If only the current crop had 50% of that!!