End of an era, Ahmed Khan passes away

The East Bengal great represented India at the 1948 and 1952 Summer Olympics.

Khan was one of the first superstars of Indian football in the early ’50s.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

 

Former India and East Bengal footballer Ahmed Khan passed away in his Bengaluru residence at 2 pm on Sunday. He was 90.

Khan was one of the first superstars of Indian football in the early ’50s. He guided East Bengal to its first League-Shield-Rovers treble in 1949. In 1951, the club became the first Indian team to win the Durand Cup. They also won the IFA Shield in the same season.

Following the club’s success, they were invited to a football tournament at the World Youth Congress in Bucharest (Romania) in 1953. He formed part of a feared five-member forward line – Sale, Dhanaraj, Appa Rao, and Venkatesh the others – nicknamed the 'pancha pandavas'. “His close control was so good that they called him the snake-charmer, for he could make the ball do his bidding,” recalled I. Arumainayagam, who turned out for India at the 1962 Asian Games. “We used to call him 'paambati'. His death is a big loss to Indian football.”

Khan participated in the 1948 and 1952 Summer Olympics.

Football statistician Hariprasad Chattopadhyay, who followed his career graph, recalls, "He scored the sole goal for India at the Olympics in 1952, when they lost 1-10 to Yugoslavia.

After winning the Rovers Cup with Bangalore Muslims, he joined East Bengal in 1949. He scored 35 goals for the club in a career spanning 11 years.

He is survived by a son, a daughter and a wife.

 

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