Lockdown diaries: 80-year-old Hamid recalls golden days

S.H. Hamid, who represented India in the 1960 Olympics, takes pride in being different from other football Olympians in Hyderabad.

Former footballer S.H. Hamid is also a great admirer of the legendary Pele.   -  FILE PHOTO/V.V. SUBRAHMANYAM

 

At 80, he has every reason to look back with a sense of pride.

S.H. Hamid, who represented India in the 1960 Olympics, takes pride in being different from other football Olympians in Hyderabad. He was one of those very few who didn’t have a fancy for the then famous Kolkata leagues.

“I somehow I didn’t like playing in that slushy outfields of the maidans there. That was the reason why I moved over to Mumbai after just a couple of seasons in Kolkata,” Hamid recalled in a chat with Sportstar even as he suggests it is suffocating to stay at home for so long due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

Going back to his playing days, he said it was a ‘privilege’ to play alongside greats such as P.K. Banerjee, Chuni Goswami, Lateef, Jarnail Singh. I am grateful to the great Rahim Saab (legendary national coach S.A. Rahim),” said Hamid.

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“Honestly, I never dreamt of playing in Olympics. I remember watching the 1957 senior nationals from the stands and then playing for the state in the next edition,” Hamid said. “Thanks to Hyderabad Sporting and Hyderabad City Police for which I was a guest player for some time. I could showcase my skills and made rapid progress in the domestic circuit to make an impact and merit attention,” he explained.

“We learnt the game the hard way and I was coached to be good in all three positions – left-in, striker and right-in. Tell me, how many modern day footballers can do that,” said Hamid, who is a great admirer of the legendary Pele of Brazil.

Hamid has no regrets at all. “I lead a happy life with no complaints except feeling sad at the state of Hyderabad football,” he said.

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