Darren Lok: I would jump at the chance to represent Malaysia
We understand that you're a half-Malaysian from your father's side. Please tell us a bit about him and yourself.
My father was born and lived in Malacca until he moved to England at the age of 20, but he still goes back to Malaysia regularly. As for myself, I am 24 years old this year. I am currently playing semi-professional football in the Conference South for Eastbourne Borough, whom I have a contract with until the end of next season. I joined the club at the Under-18 level and have been with the first team for three years now. I am a striker, but sometimes played on the wing. I am also working as a support worker helping people with mental health issues.
Are you the only footballer in the family?
Yes, my father has never played football, so the biggest sporting influence in my family is probably my maternal grandfather, who played rugby and football.
How would you describe your playing style?
As I mentioned, I am sometimes played on the wing, but my preferred position is to be playing as a centre forward. I am quick and lively with lots of energy, and I like to think that I give my all when I step on the football pitch.
I have read their interviews and I find it really interesting to see that there are also other men from Malaysian backgrounds playing a similar level of football as myself. It would be good to get in touch with them.
As you were born in England, do you personally feel Malaysian or Chinese at all?
Yes, having grown up with my father’s cooking and Chinese traditions, I definitely feel Chinese. I unfortunately do not speak Malay or any Chinese dialects, but I would love to and wish I could!
Have you ever visited Malaysia?
Yes, I have visited Malaysia regularly; in fact, I am due to go again in three weeks’ time when the football season finishes. I will be spending time in Malacca, Kuala Lumpur and Redang. I love the country and the food, and it is also a good chance for me to see my extended family members again.
Would a playing career in Malaysia appeal to you, especially for your dad's hometown club?
I have actually thought about it a lot recently and it has been something that I have been looking into. I have looked up online about Malacca United, who I see are playing in the third tier, and I am interested to see the standard of Malaysian football.
Would you consider giving up your British passport for a Malaysian citizenship?
I am currently holding a British passport, but I would love to play for Malaysia one day. Giving up my English citizenship is something that I would have to give great consideration, but if the chance ever came up to represent Malaysia, I would jump at it.
(Pictures: Darren Lok)