50 Sarawak’s Greatest Players: John “Buffalo” Hunter

john hunter

The man fans had fondly nicknamed “Kerbau” (Buffalo), spent 5 seasons with the Crocs from 1991 to 1995 and helped the state win their first ever title – the FA Cup, in 1992.

The big, burly Scotsman arrived as one of Sarawak’s first import regime, with many rating him higher than Alistair Edwards (who coincidentally was signed by Sarawak after Hunter’s departure). With his big frame, Hunter lacked pace but made up for it with his accuracy in front of goal.

Hunter’s goalscoring prowess should not have surprised many as he was top scorer in the Western Australian Super League prior to signing for Sarawak, having scored 31 in 17 matches.

Under Alan Vest, Sarawak thrived with Hunter leading the line and who at one time forged a formidable partnership with Shamsurin Abd Rahman. Sarawak were comfortable enough playing through the wings with a big target to aim for and made it a habit to pump long balls into the box.

Fans old enough to remember John Hunter will testify that he is the best foreigner ever to don the Sarawak colours.

Sarawak get Top Striker Hunter

Sarawak have secured the services of Australian ‘Golden Boot’ winner John Hunter, top scorer in the Super League last season with 31 goals in 17 matches. 

Hunter, who also won the ‘Gold Medal’ for the best player of the league, was signed up in Hong Kong on Friday with sweeper Jeff Curran, a former Gold Medal winner himself.

Alan Vest, Second Division Sarawak’s new coach, flew to Hong Kong on Thursday to sign up Hunter and Curran from South China FC and Martini respectively. They will join the Sarawak team when their contracts with the Hong Kong clubs in April.

The duo played under Vest in Australia and come strongly recommended. Hunter, a six-footer who has so far scored 10 goals in the ongoing Hong Kong league, has been rated as “much better than Alistair Edwards” while Curran is said to be a reliable defender.

Vest believes Hunter will be able to score “as many as the 16 goals Sarawak scored in the League last season”.

Source: NST, 11 March 1991

Next player: Roslan Ismail