Former Japan coach Takaji Mori passes away

Former Japan coach and 1968 Olympic bronze medallist Takaji Mori died of cancer on Sunday morning at a hospital in Tokyo. He was at 67.

Mori, known for his skillful work in midfield as a player, achieved a triple success at Waseda University, winning the Kanto Collegiate League, the All-Japan Collegiate Championship and the Emperor’s Cup in 1966. The native of Hiroshima then joined Mitsubishi Heavy Industry and twice won the Japan Soccer League, the predecessor of the J. League.
For Japan, Mori played in 56 international matches, scoring twice, making appearances at the Olympic Games in 1968 in Mexico,In the 1968 edition, he played in all the games as Japan won the bronze medal.
After hanging up his boots in 1977, he helped Japanese football development off the pitch, working as Japan coach from 1981 to 1985 and then managing J. League clubs Urawa Reds and Avispa Fukuoka.
He then took the technical director’s job at Urawa, inviting former Japan coach Hans Ooft and former German international Guido Buchwaldo as coaches, moves that helped the Reds become one of Japan’s leading clubs.
Mori entered the Japan Football Hall of Fame in 2006 for his contribution to Japanese football.