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PK's Asian Games 'gift' for football coach Rahim to hit big screen

PTI Kolkata
Updated: 13-11-2018 17:05 IST

The 'guru-shisya' relationship of Syed Abdul Rahim and P K Banerjee who fullfilled the last wish of his cancer-stricken coach with the Asian Games gold medal in 1962 will be portrayed on big screen.

Cancer-stricken Rahim proved a master tactician when he guided India to the gold medal with a 2-1 win over South Korea in Jakarta with Banerjee scoring the opening goal.

A father figure to Banerjee, Rahim had asked for a 'tohfa' (gift) and his ward delivered by scoring a crucial goal in front of a hostile crowd.

Vomiting blood in the change room, Rahim, who was suffering from oral cancer, went 'missing' after the triumph, and it was Banerjee who found him out as both hugged each other in ecstasy and pain.

"Such a biopic is very rare. I'm touched," Banerjee told PTI, as the director of the upcoming movie, Amit Sharma, called on the legendary footballer at his Sector III GD Block residence in Saltlake on Sunday.

"He knew he had cancer and would not live long so his last wish from me was the Asian Games gold medal. He told me 'mujhe ek aakhri tohfaa chahiye, Asian Games gold medal jit ke do (I want a last gift, give me the Asian Games gold medal)," an emotional Banerjee recalled.

"On the eve of the match, I also dreamt of sir leaving us. There was no way we could let him down. We had lost in the last match but we were motivated to do well. It was a great match and the zenith of Indian football," Banerjee recalled on how they avenged their 0-2 loss in the group stage with a win in the final.

Rahim would call Banerjee 'Utsaad' for his ability to score goals.

"There were days when I didn't have enough money to afford two meals a day. Rahim Sir told me take money from me for one meal. He would call me 'Ustaad' he would say I could score a goal at my wish," Banerjee added.

Fresh from his success of 'Badhaai Ho', Sharma is making the biopic on the forgotten hero of Indian football.

Rahim, who coached India to two Asian Games gold medals and a rare fourth place in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, died within nine months of the Jakarta gold medal.

"It was in the 1950s when I had lost my father. At that time Rahim noticed me in the Hyderabad camp. He took me under his guidance after that. He was a father figure to me. I'm here all because of him. He loved me a lot," Banerjee said.

The director of the movie also spent hours with Anirban Chatterjee who is writing Banerjee's biography that will be released during Kolkata Book Fair.

"These are the high points of Indian football and it has all the ingredients of making it a successful Bollywood biopic," Chatterjee said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)