Sunday,23 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1278, (14 - 20 January 2016)
Sunday,23 September, 2018
Issue 1278, (14 - 20 January 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Farewell the Fox

Al-Ahram Weekly

ZAMALEK’S football legend Hamada Imam has died at the age of 73. Imam, the second in line in a string of Egyptian football legends, died on Saturday 9 January following a glorious career on the pitch and in the TV booth.

Imam was considered one of Zamalek’s best-ever players in the sixties and early seventies during which he scored 74 goals in the Premier League and FA Cup competitions.

His biggest highlight was scoring a hat-trick against West Ham United as Zamalek thrashed the then English champions 5-1 in Cairo in a friendly in 1966. World Cup winning players Bobby Moore and Geoffrey Hurst were on the team that day.

Born on 23 November 1943, Imam descended from a football family. His father was Zamalek’s goalkeeper Yehia Imam. The talent extended to Imam’s youngest son, Zamalek’s former mid-fielder and magical playmaker Hazem Imam, who is currently the club’s football director.

Hamada Imam played alongside national football legends during that era with the likes of Saleh and Tarek Selim. During that period he was and remained greatly respected among Egyptian fans. He was known for his trickery and catchy feints, which gained him the nickname The Fox, as well as his modesty on and off the field.

A deep-lying forward, Imam led Zamalek to a host of titles including two Egyptian Premier League crowns and three FA Cup titles.

Following his retirement, Imam held several positions in football administration and was elected multiple times as a Zamalek board member and vice president of the Egyptian Football Association.

He was most at home as a TV commentator. His most famous expression was “go fetch it”, needling the goalkeeper to get the ball from the back of the net after being scored upon. It became his play-by-play trademark and was parroted by millions.

Ahly, Zamalek’s perennial rivals, paid homage to one of the best footballers ever to have graced the game.

“Ahly club is offering its condolences to the great player and football icon Hamada Imam who passed away today,” the club said in a brief statement.

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