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03/05/2011

[Obituary]
Former Japan Olympic captain Yaegashi passes away

Japan’s 1968 Olympic team captain Shigeo Yaegashi died of a cerebral infarction on Monday at a hospital in Tama, Tokyo. He was 78.

Yaegashi, a native of Iwate Prefecture, was called up by Japan when he was at Waseda University and played in the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne. He also played in the 1964 Summer Games in Tokyo, when Japan reached the quarterfinals, and was captain of the team that won the bronze medal at the 1968 Mexico Games.
He earned 44 caps and scored 11 goals for his country.
He played for Furukawa Electric – the predecessor of JEF United Chiba – in the old Japan Soccer League, scoring 14 goals in 51 matches. He was named to the JSL’s Best XI three times and was voted JSL Player of the Year in 1963.
After retiring, Yaegashi managed Furukawa before taking the helm at Fujitsu, the predecessor of Kawasaki Frontale. He also worked as the Japan youth team coach.
JFA Honorary Vice President and former Olympic team striker Kunishige Kamamoto commented: “He was a very severe person, but also man of great joy. He was a senior at our university and would often take me out for a drink after I made it to the national team. His words helped me develop my football career. He made me feel that I wanted to play for him.”