Son of legendary coach late Rahim, he was a member of the Indian squad that competed in the 1960 Olympics
Hyderabad: Syed Shahid Hakim, one of the most colourful and versatile personalities of Indian football, died after a cardiac arrest in Gulbarga in Karnataka on Sunday. He was 82.
Son of the legendary coach the late SA Rahim, Hakim was a member of the Indian squad that competed in the 1960 Rome Olympics. He was with the Indian Air Force for 21 years from 1962, retiring as Squadron Leader. After his playing days, he took to refereeing and coaching besides enjoying a stint in sports administration.
“It is shocking news. Good at centre half, Hakim was passionate about the game,” said the illustrious Tulsidas Balaram from Kolkata. Balaram is one of the few surviving members of 1956 and 1960 Olympic Games. He is of firm belief that Rahim remains the greatest football coach the country has known.
“He was not that distinguished as a player but as a FIFA referee and NIS qualified coach, he was top-notch,” said the State coach Aleem Khan. Former Indian skipper Shabbir Ali pointed out that Hakim had a vast knowledge of the game while Victor Amal Raj, another former Indian captain from the city, added that Hakim was a no-nonsense referee.
“Only other day on August 15 we all met at a felicitation function in the city. He was cheerful and today he is no more,” lamented GP Palguna, secretary of Telangana Football Association.
Writing in Barefoot to Boots, the respected football critic Novy Kapadia revealed that Hakim’s greatest success as coach was in instilling the value of discipline in Salgaocar Sports Club’s defender Derrick Pereira. Having become a disciplinarian like his father, Hakim shepherded Derrick Pereira to the Indian team for the 1986 Asian Games.
Along with GM Pentiah and M Azam, he was one of the three Hyderabad referees who was inducted into the FIFA panel. Hakim supervised 33 international matches, a record for an Indian. These included two Asian Games, three Asia Cup finals, pre-Olympics and World Cup qualifiers.
Till his last breath, Hakim continued to propagate the legacy of his father. “My father was a genius. He invented many of the techniques which present-day coaches follow,” he would say with pride. Hakim was himself a respected coach, serving the Indian team as assistant coach at the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi.
He lamented the raw deal given to the footballers by the State. “I want to write a petition to the Government on the condition of the families of footballers who represented India in the 1956 and 1960 Olympic Games,” he told this writer last month. “I will meet you on return from Gulbarga.”
That was not the only engagement that he will miss. Hakim was eagerly waiting for the release of the film based on his father’s life, Maidaan, starring Ajay Devgn. But the project has been delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Having rallied from a severe attack of Covid-19 last year when he needed hospitalisation, Hakim has finally been reunited with his father.
Now you can get handpicked stories from Telangana Today on Telegram everyday. Click the link to subscribe.