Kolkata, Jun 16 (PTI) The executive committee of Mohammedan Sporting club has unanimously decided to confer the prestigious Shan-e-Mohammedan on former India footballer Latifuddin Najam at its Iftar Party on June 23.
The Shan-e-Mohammedan is the Lifetime Achievement Award of Mohammedan Sporting club, which is awarded annually to players for their contribution to football.
Latifuddin, son of 1952 Helsinki Olympian Syed Khaja Moinuddin, was a useful winger who could play on both flanks.
“When I started playing I just wanted to be like my father. He was my idol, he always used to tell me whatever you do in your life do with honesty. I think I have him proud along the way.” Latifuddin said.
“I played the game for passion and never think of any awards but today I felt honoured to recieve this award from a club which is closest to my heart.” he added.
Latifuddin began his career at Andhra Pradesh Police team before moving to Kolkata in 1970 with Mohammedan Sporting.
Having spent a couple of seasons at Mohammedan Sporting, Latifuddin switched allegiance to East Bengal in 1972.
However, he returned to Mohammedan Sporting the very next year and stayed till 1980.
During his second spell with Mohammedan Sporting, he formed a lethal strike force with the likes of Mohammed Habib, Mir Sajjad and Mohammed Akbar, which helped the Black Panthers win many accolades in 70s.
In 1981, Latifuddin again joined East Bengal before returning to Mohammedan Sporting for one last time in his career in 1982.
Latifuddin bacame the top scorer in 1976 Calcutta Football League with 22 goals, a feat that has been achieved by 11 other Mohammedan Sporting footballers only since the inception of Calcutta Football League in 1898.
The Hyderabadi has also enjoyed a lot of success in his international career. He was a prominent member of the India junior team that were joint winners of the 1974 AFC U-19 Championship in Thailand, which was known as Asian Junior Championship then.
Latifuddin scored a goal in the final which ended in a 2 -2 draw against Iran and both teams were declared as joint winners.
He was also a part of the senior India team in the 1974 Mardeka Cup, where he scored against Indonesia in a match which India lost in tie-breaker.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.