Hyderabad: Former Indian footballer SS Bir Bahadur, who played in the 1966 Asian Games, passed away at his Doveton, Bolarum in Secunderabad on Saturday night. He was 75. He is survived by his wife, two sons, and a daughter. He was ailing for quite some time.
A lethal striker of the ball, Bahadur represented EME Centre and Services in football tournaments before playing in the Asian Games. Bahadur was struggling, financially and physically. He had been suffering from high blood pressure and diabetes.
Bahadur was a powerful right-footer and a couple of times, it said, the ball even tore whenever he unleashed those devastating kicks and even legendary goalkeeper late Peter Thangaraj was to witness in the trial match between the Indian team and the Services at the then Calcutta Maidan.
Hailing from Dehradun, football came naturally to him. He joined in EME in Hyderabad in the 60s and played for Services in the senior National football championship till 1974.
However, the big moment came in 1966 when he impressed the selectors with deadly shots at the goal during the selection trial matches. “He was an opportunistic striker and could convert half-chances,’’ said Aleem Khan, the former State footballer.
Misfortune struck Bahadur after he quit the game. Poverty forced him to sell chat and Bhelpuri on the Bolarum roadside in 2005. That too did not last long as it was removed because of the road expansion. When the chat bhandar business came to a sudden halt, things turned from bad to worse.
He did get help from 3 Battalion EME Centre in Secunderabad when his family was to open a canteen. His health deteriorated in the last few years and the family had difficulty purchasing medicines before he died on Saturday.
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