Football icon Hussain succumbs to Covid | Football News

2021-04-17 05:04:44

Stalwart was part of team which finished 4th at Melbourne Games
BENGALURU: Former India star and a member of the famed 1956 Melbourne Olympics squad Ahmed Hussain passed away here on Friday after a brief battle with Covid-19. He was 85.
Hussain, who was captain of the Mohammedan Sporting club and also played for Hyderabad Sporting Club and excelled as centre half and centre back, moved to the Garden City following his marriage and joined Sports Authority of India, South Centre, as a coach. He also took a liking for refereeing and officiated in big tournaments including the Stafford Cup.
“He had mild heart problems and was down with dementia for a few years. A few days back, he was unwell and we got him admitted on Tuesday night after he tested positive for Covid-19. He passed away this morning at 9.30. His funeral was held in the afternoon with help of Mercy Angels following all protocols,” Hussain’s son Imtiaz Ahmed told TOI.
Hussain is also survived by his wife Ayesha. His elder son Aijaz passed away a few months back.
Former Karnataka State Football Association president AR Khaleel said Hussain was one of India’s top defenders in the 1950s and early 60s. “We lost one more player from the 1956 Olympics squad where we finished fourth. Hussain was one of the best defenders India produced alongside the likes of Jarnail Singh,” Khaleel, who recently turned 90, recalled.
“His wife Ayesha was working at Vijaya Bank and that’s how he moved to Bangalore. Then he joined SAI, armed with an NIS diploma and A-level diploma from West Germany, and worked as a coach till his retirement,” Khaleel said.
Football historian Dr SA Rahman said Hussain quit refereeing following a spat in one of the crunch matches involving CIL. “He knew the rules but some people created a big ruckus and Hussain said he would never pick up the whistle again.”
Hyderabad’s golden generation
A product of Hyderabad City College, Hussain was part of Hyderabad’s golden generation of players which turned the spotlight on itself by winning the 1956 Santosh Trophy in Trivandrum. Trained by Hyderabad and India coach SA Rahim, he was soon a pivot in the three-back defence system. After the Melbourne Olympics, Hussain was a regular in the India squad. He was also in the 1958 Tokyo Asian Games team that finished fourth after losing to Indonesia in the third-place playoff.
As the legend departs, the Olympic rings fitted on the gate of his house in Andree Road in Shanti Nagar remains, reminding fans of the glory days of Indian football.

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