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This man’s ‘goal’ is football!

Biplab Ghosh, 63, cannot live without football

sports Updated: Jun 04, 2018 18:06 IST
Sharad Deep
Sharad Deep
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Sports,Goal,Football
Biplab Ghosh.(HT Photo )

Biplab Ghosh, 63, cannot live without football. So much so that he even dreams about soccer during day. His passion for the game was so intense that Biplab often used to mortgage jewellery of his wife to conduct the famous Patu Mazumdar Football Tournament in Allahabad from 1984 to 1998.

To say football is in his genes would be an understatement as his father Amlendu Ghosh, another soccer lover, was founder secretary of the prestigious Allahabad Sporting Club. Ghosh senior had started the Mazumdar football tourney in 1945, two years before the Independence, a tradition his son followed.

In 1999 Biplab established Uttar Pradesh’s best football academy—Allahabad Sporting Football Academy—that is running successfully at the Anglo Bengali School ground in Sangam City. The academy was set up with an aim to let young footballers prove their mettle. While benefitting from the top coaches with Shadab Raza, former UP captain as the head coach, the academy has so far produced three international and more than 60 national level players. At present, the academy is being financed by Petroleum Sports Promotion Board.

“There is no chance of disassociating myself with football as I grew up listening about and seeing football even at my home. I am thrilled by the game and that’s why I am associated with it even after my retirement,” said Biplab, who is aiming to start a tournament for young footballers of Allahabad at a time when World Cup Football is set to start in Russia from June 14.

There would be 15-20 teams each in under-12, under-17 and under-21 tournaments, starting after June 20. “It’s an occasion to give young footballers to enjoy the game in the shadow of the World Cup commencement,” he says.

“I always wanted to let my passion for the game continue. Seeing young kids kicking the ball makes me feel so happy,” says Biplab, who doesn’t sleep without watching a football match every day. “I can live without food and water throughout the day but not without football,” he adds.

His passion for the game is evident as many players from the academy have made it to India’s top professional football clubs and academies. Around 25 trainees are doing jobs under sports quota in various government offices. Not only individually but also as a team, the academy has won many national and state level tournaments recognised by All India Football Federation.

Only this year, trainees like Utkarsh Kant Srivastava, Siemens Singh, Vikalp Jha, Arjun Kumar, Asher Peter, Sachin Sharma, Rahul Kisku, Arpit Das, Utkarsh Singh, Ankit Tiwari, Abhishek Yadav, Sachin Sharma, Naushad, Wasim, Utkarsh Singh, Gaurav Maurya made their present felt at the national level, whereas Rahul Anand, Vikas Nishad and Nitin Kaushal represented India in the under-15 Asian Pacific Football Championship at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Amit Kumar, Sheran Ayubi, Meesam Raza, Sujeet Kumar Sonkar attended national camps too.

“In fact, the academy has become a production house of footballers,” says Biplab with pride before turning away to give tips to an aspiring soccer player.

First Published: Jun 04, 2018 18:06 IST