Kolkata: Legendary Indian footballer and one of the “Panchapandavas” of East Bengal, Ahmed Khan breathed his last at Bengaluru today at 3.45pm. He was the last person who was alive till date among the Five Pandavas. The other four members who are the part of this legendary group were Apparao, P Venkatesh, PB Saleh and Dhanraj. He was the part of India’s Olympic football team in 1948 and 1952. Kolkata giant East Bengal also felicitated with the Bharat Gourav Award couple of years back.
It has been learnt that, the reason of his death was his age related issues. Owing to his age, in recent times he failed to recognize his close once too.
Indian football fraternity had never seen a more ruthless footballers combination like the Red & Gold Brigade’s famous Five Pandvas team of 1950s. P Venkatesh and PB Saleh were there on right and left wings respectively, on the other hand Apparao played at the inside right position of a classical 2-3-5 formation and Dhnraj played at the center-forward. These four footballers were extremely talented as an individual footballer but the presence of Ahmed Khan made them all unstoppable.
Legendary Indian footballer Chuni Goswami was in deep shock after listening the news. ” According to me Ahmed Khan was the best football controller in barefoot. His dribbling quality in barefoot was just like a magician. But from when he started to play wearing boots his quality of dribbling with the ball deteriorated a lot as he couldn’t play wearing boots. I am in deep shock after listening to this,” said Goswami.
Ahmed Khan’s wife Anjali said,” He died due to age related problems. He was also suffering from bronchitis. In last couple of months he could walk due to his age and also he failed to recognize his close once too during this period of time.”
In a press-release East Bengal club said,”The Club is sad to announce the passing away of Ahmed Khan at Bengaluru today. He was nearly 91 years old.A legend in his own right and a Double Olympian was perhaps one of the greatest footballer the country has ever produced.Last of the VADAS (nicknamed Pancha Pandavas) was a doyen of the footballing fraternity both home and abroad.A barefooted genius he played for East Bengal Club from 1949-59 winning a number of trophies for the Club.Captain in 1954 also led the team to its tour of USSR and Romania in 1953.One also recalls the spectacular goal he scored vs Yugoslavia playing barefeet in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics.Spotted by the club supremo JC Guha in 1948 Rovers Cup he also excelled even after the boots were made mandatory.East Bengal Club mourns his demise.Kalyan Majumder General Secretary in a statement has said”Theclub has been orphaned following Ahmed Khan’s death perhaps the greatest footballer the club has ever seen.With outstanding individual brilliance the barefooted Khan was capable of deciding the fate of any match all by himself.Even after boots were made mandatory I recall his outstanding performance in the 1958 IFA Shield final when he along with Balaram destroyed Mohun Bagan to win the Trophy. We had bestowed him with Bharat Gaurav Award in 2012 Foundation Day and that was the last time he visited the Club.My heartfelt condolences go out to his wife and son and hope that they would be able to withstand the loss.May his soul Rest in Peace”.