Koji Funamoto

Koji Funamoto
Personal information
Full name Koji Funamoto
Date of birth (1942-08-12) August 12, 1942
Place of birth Hiroshima, Japan
Height 1.77 m (5 ft 9 12 in)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1961–1975 Toyo Industries 166 (0)
Total 166 (0)
National team
1967–1975 Japan 19 (0)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Koji Funamoto (船本 幸路 Funamoto Koji, born August 12, 1942) is a former Japanese football player. He played for Japan national team.

He played goalkeeper for the Toyo Industries from 1961 to 1975 and for the Japan national team from 1967 to 1975. Funamoto was born and raised in Hiroshima, Japan. He played youth football at Hiroshima University Fuzoku High School before starting his club career with Toyo Industries. He and high school teammates were central figures in the golden era of football in Hiroshima from 1958 to 1972. Following his playing career, he coached goalkeepers for Toyo Industries and for the Japan national team, coached youth soccer in Hiroshima, and worked in the business office at the Mazda Motor Corporation (formerly Toyo Industries) until his retirement. After his retirement from Mazda, he served as match commissioner of the J1 League until 2007 and has served as match commissioner of the Japan Football League since 2008.

Youth soccer career

Funamoto played for Fuzoku High School from 1958 to 1960. He and teammates Aritatsu Ogi, Yasuyuki Kuwahara, Takayuki Kuwata, Kensei Mizote, and Sonkyo Nomura became locally famous together by leading their school to a second place finish in the National High School Football Championship tournament in 1959. Ogi, Kuwahara, Funamoto, and Mizote carried the team to the quarterfinals of this tournament in 1960. Funamoto moved on to club football immediately after high school, while Ogi, Kuwahara, and Kuwata would play four years at Chuo University before joining Funamoto in club play with Toyo Industries.

Club career

Funamoto joined the Toyo Industries in 1961. Toyo then won the National Sports Festival football tournament in 1962 and were Emperor's Cup semifinalists (1961, 1962) and quarterfinalists (1963) with Funamoto at goalkeeper. In 1965, the club became an inaugural member of the newly formed Japan Soccer League (JSL), the first national league of soccer clubs in Japan. He remained with the club for 11 seasons in the JSL until his retirement in 1975. With Funamoto and his former high school teammates, Toyo dominated the JSL for the first six years, winning the championship five times (1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1970) and placing second once (1969). The club won the Emperor's Cup three times (1965, 1967, 1969) during this period and finished third in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Club Championship tournament in 1969. As goalkeeper, Funamoto played a critical role on Toyo's early success in the JSL when they won 75 of their first 112 matches (67%), allowing opponents just 87 goals. He was named goalkeeper of the year in the JSL in 1970. The golden era of Hiroshima football then came to an end over the next three years when the club won 15 of 54 matches (28%), while allowing 82 goals.

JSL Player/Club Statistics
Year Club Appearances Club Record (W-L-D) League Standing Club Goals Allowed Tournament Results
1965 Toyo Industries 14 12-0-2 1 9 Emperor's Cup champion
1966 Toyo Industries 14 12-1-1 1 6 Emperor's Cup 2nd Place
1967 Toyo Industries 14 10-2-2 1 16 Emperor's Cup champion
1968 Toyo Industries 14 10-3-1 1 11
1969 Toyo Industries 14 10-3-1 2 10 Emperor's Cup champion, AFC club championship 3rd Place
1970 Toyo Industries 14 11-2-1 1 5 Emperor's Cup 2nd Place
1971 Toyo Industries 14 3-7-4 6 17
1972 Toyo Industries 14 7-5-2 3 13 Emperor's Cup 3rd Place
1973 Toyo Industries 18 5-8-5 8 28 Emperor's Cup semifinalist
1974 Toyo Industries 18 6-6-6 6 25 Emperor's Cup semifinalist
1975 Toyo Industries 18 4-10-4 8 29
Totals 166 90-47-29 169

International career

Funamoto shared goalkeeping duties with two-time Olympian, Kenzo Yokoyama, on the Japan national team from 1967 to 1975. He appeared in 19 matches, 17 as a starter and 2 as a substitute, shutting out opponents 5 times. He allowed 25 goals, while the Japan team went 9-8-2 (W-L-D). He played in the Merdeka Cup (1970, 1972, 1975), Asian Games (1970), Asian Cup qualifiers (1975), Olympic trials (1967), and FIFA World Cup qualifiers (1969, 1973) during his International career.

Japan national team


After football

Funamoto retired after the 1975 season after 15 years with Toyo and 11 years in the JSL. He served as goalkeeper coach from 1975 to 1980 for Toyo Kogyo and for the Japan national squad from 1979 to 1980. He lectured at the Mazda soccer school from 1981 to 2007. His proteges included Kenichi Uemura, Kenji Wakai, and Masaaki Iemoto. He worked in the Mazda business office until his retirement. After he retired, he served as a match commissioner of the J League until 2007 and that of Japan Football League since 2008. He currently enjoys retirement in Hiroshima City, playing golf with friends, gardening, and watching football with his family.


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