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Britain’s Finest: The seven who captivated Malaysia

Former West Ham and Everton striker Tony Cottee needs little introduction but there are a few other British players that caught the attention of many in Malaysian football, including Arsenal legend David Rocastle. FourFourTwo looks at seven of the best from the United Kingdom.

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William ‘Billy’ Bone

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Billy is famous in both Singapore and Malaysia

Signed by Alan Vest in 1997, the former Sunderland trainee was part of the Crocs squad that immortalised their names in Sarawak’s football history books.

Having had near misses in the previous few seasons, the defensive midfielder added much-needed steel to Sarawak’s engine room, thus allowing the likes of Alistair Edwards and Shamsurin Abdul Rahman to run riot up front as Sarawak won the Malaysia Premier League (the top-tier back then) for the first and only time in their history.

Bone won the Charity Shield with Sarawak in 1998 before moving to S.League’s Geylang United the following year.

He lifted the S. League title with Geylang in 2001 before winning it again with Home United in 2003. He also won the FA Cup that year and appeared as a television pundit for ESPN during his time in the Republic.

He ended his career at the age of 32 due to injuries and returned to England to earn his coaching badges and set up Sport Club First Touch 04, a football academy based in Kent.

His son, Samuel is eligible to play for Malaysia. The former Charlton Athletic trainee secured a move to Irish club Shamrock Rovers this year after bravely battling cancer.