Samad, Syed Abdus
Samad, Syed Abdus (1895-1964) legendary football player. Syed Abdus Samad was known in Bengal as football jadukar (magician). He was born in 1895 in Purnea of Bihar, India. His formal education ended when he left school during his studies in the eighth grade. Samad displayed his talents in football from his early boyhood. His skill was 'astonishing' particularly in dribbling and tackling and in making measured shots. He drew attention of the football club managers of Calcutta when he played for the Purnea Junior Football Club. He joined the Calcutta Main Town Club in 1912. During 1915-1920, he was actively associated with Tajhat Football Club of Rangpur.
In 1916, Samad played in a match against Somerset Football Team of England. He played for Calcutta Orients Club in 1918 and for the East Bengal Railway Team in 1921-1930. Samad scored the most memorable trophy-winning goal of his career in 1927 against the Sherwood Forestry Team patronised by the Chief of the Indian Army Lieutenant General Sherwood Mall.
Samad was selected for the Indian National Team in 1924 and captained it in 1926. He toured Burma, Ceylon, Hong Kong, China, Java, Sumatra, Malay, Borneo, Singapore and Britain. In a match played against China in Peking, he played as a substitute player in the second half and scored four goals in a row to give his side a 4-3 victory after trailing 0-3 in the first half. At the age of 38 Samad joined the Calcutta Mohammedan Sporting Club (established 1891) in 1933 and played for the next five years with skill, vigour and devotion. Mainly due to his contribution, his team clinched both of the First Division Football League Championship and the Indian Football Association Shield (IFA) Tournament in five consecutive years. Samad was honoured with the 'Hero of the Games' title. Samad and his son Golam Hossain played together for Railway Team in 1944.
After 1947, Samad settled in parbatipur of dinajpur district in East Pakistan and was employed in the Pakistan Eastern Railway. In 1957, he was appointed a coach of National Sports Council Board. He received the President's Award in 1962. He died on 2 February 1964 in Parbatipur. Bangladesh Football Federation organises the annual Jadukar Samad Smriti Football Tournament in his honour. [Mohammad Tawfiqul Haider]