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1956 Olympics Indian football team facilitated

By TwoCircles.net staff reporter

New Delhi: 1950s were the golden era of Indian football- India won 1951 Asian Games Gold Medal and came fourth in 1956 Olympic Games. Today Sports Minister of India Dr. M. S. Gill facilitated the surviving member of the 1956 Melbourne Olympics team to honour them for their achievement.

Dr. M.S. Gill with Mohammed Zulfiqaruddin

At a function held here, Dr. Gill presented to each surviving members a silver plaque in memory of their unforgettable performance, a shawl and a token Cash Award of Rs. 1.5 lakh each. Out of the nine surviving members of the 1956 team, seven members could attend the function and receive the award personally from the Minister. They are: Samar Banerjee, S.S. Narayan, A.S. Salam, A. Hussain, N.K. Nandi, P.K. Banerjee & MZ. Zulfaikar. Tulsidas and K.C. Pal could not attend the function because of their ill health.

Speaking briefly about the journey of Indian Football Team during 1956 Olympics, Samar Banerjee, Captain of the team narrated the story about how Indian team reached the semi-finals by defeating Australia 4-2 in the quarter-final at the Melbourne Olympics.

In the road to semi-finals, Neville Stephen D’Souza scored a hat-trick against Australia becoming the first Asian to do so in the Olympics. India lost to Yugoslavia in semi-finals 4-1 and to Bulgaria 3-0 for the Bronze Medal.

The Minister of State for Youth Affairs & Sports, Dr. M.S. Gill felicitated Ahmed Hussain.

In his welcome address, Dr. Gill stated that the Government is delighted to felicitate the surviving members of legendary Indian Football Team, who made the country proud more than 50 years ago. With this, young generation will drive inspiration to excel like them. He said the Ministry has upgraded the football game from “Others” category to “Priority” category. This will enable the All India Football Federation to receive the enhanced Government support for the development of the game. He said that in his views the Government should promote only those games which are inexpensive and playable in any terrain and these games could be Football, Athletics, Hockey, Volleyball and Basketball.

The Indian soccer team for 1956 Melbourne Olympics:

Goalkeepers: Peter Thangaraj (Madras Regimental Centre, Services), Shankar Subramaniam Narayan (Caltex, Bombay).
Defenders: Abdul T. Rehman (Rajasthan Club, Calcutta), Syed Khwaja Azizuddin (Hyderabad City Police), S.A. Latif (Bombay).
Midfielders: Marianna Kempiah (East Bengal Club), Mohammed Abdul Salaam (Bengal), Nikhil Kumar Nandy (Eastern Railway SC, Bengal), Ahmed Hussain (Hyderabad), Noor Mohammed (Hyderabad City Police).
Forwards: Samar Banerjee (Mohun Bagan AC – CAPTAIN), J. Krishnaswamy “Kittu” (East Bengal Club), P.K. Banerjee (Bengal), Krishna Chandra “Kesto” Pal (Bengal), Muhamed Kannayan (Bengal-Nagpur Railway, Calcutta), Neville Stephen D’Souza (Bombay – Vice-CAPTAIN), Tulsidas Balaram (Hyderabad), Mohammed Zulfiqaruddin (Hyderabad City Police).