Pals so pleased Muneto is safe

Muneto Yoshizu
Muneto Yoshizu

A FORMER football boss has been inundated with calls from well-wishers relieved to hear their old Japanese schoolpal and team-mate escaped the killer earthquake and tsunami.

Ex-Shotton Boys Under-12s team and former Hartlepool United chief talent scout Tommy Miller appeared in the Mail last week and told how Muneto Yoshizu, who made scores of friends when he lived in Peterlee in the early 1990s, had survived the disaster in his native Japan.

Since then, Tommy says people who remembered Muneto, either through playing with him at Shotton Boys or who were his classmates at Shotton Hall Secondary School, have been in touch.

Muneto lives just 10 miles outside Tokyo and he and his family miraculously escaped the earthquake, which measured 8.9 on the Richter scale, and devastating tsunami,

Tommy, who lives in Peterlee, said: “I must have had 15 people ringing me up saying they had seen the article and were pleased he was okay.”

Tommy said Muneto’s father, Satoui Yoshizu, who brought the family to Peterlee when he took a position at Nissan, had also been in touch to ask for a copy of the story to be sent to him.

He added: “Mr Yoshizu said in his email that the ground is rumbling twice a day and he has had to queue for petrol for one-and-a-half hours and they were having to buy water as it was scarce.

“He said hopefully everything will return to normal by May.

“He was delighted that people have been asking about him and his family.”

The number of people confirmed dead in the earthquake and tsunami has passed 10,000.

Muneto, now 32, was tipped to be the first Japanese player in the English League after scoring 33 of Shotton Boys’ goals in one season.