A supporters' forum of Abahani Limited, titled "Abahani Samorthok Gosthi", organised a remembrance in memory of eight former players and organisers of the club at the club premises Friday.
Member of Swadhin Bangla football team and Abahani's lifetime player and coach, Amalesh Sen, former national hockey players Khwaja Rahmatullah and Jumman Lusai and former Bangladesh footballers Shamsul Islam Molla Shamsu and Abdul Motaleb were remembered, along with the club's former president AKM Muhith Uddin.
Former advisor of ASG Kendrio Karjokori Sangsad, Fazle Elahi Badal, and its former vice president Khandakar Rafiqur Rahman were also among the remembered ones.
The family members of the eight sports personalities were also present during the occasion and were handed honorary crest. Rahmatullah's wife Nadira Rahmatullah expressed gratitude for organising such a remembrance programme while Badal's wife Saeeda Sultana remembered her husband's dedication towards the club and country since his student life.
Amalesh spent almost his entire playing and coaching career at Abahani ever since the foundation of the country's most successful club. Amalesh's wife Joyasree Sen, who was accompanied by her eldest son Arnab Sen, said, "He [Amalesh] was devoted to sports and at the same time, he also gave time and space to his family. He dearly loved the club."
Among the speakers, Bangladesh Hockey Federation general secretary Abdus Sadeque joined Abahani in 1972. He said, "Everyone who is being remembered has contributions to the club. They loved the club by heart."
"We couldn't give them the respect they deserved when they were alive," said State Minister for Foreign Affairs Mohammad Shahriar Alam, who also happens to be one of the club directors. He continued, "Some of these eight persons were footballers and hockey players while some were dedicated organisers, and all of them treated the club as their home."
The chief guest of the event, Water Resources Minister Anwar Hossain Manju remembered Sheikh Kamal, the founder of Abahani and the eldest son of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
"It's really a rare incident even today that the son of the father of the nation is a sports personality. He also played the sitar and did stage drama. He (Sheikh Kamal) organised a club which have still kept their place at the top, even today," said Manju. He added, "I want to thank the organisers for arranging such a unique event in memory of those who left us."
The remembrance programme was presided over by ASG president Syed Belayet Hossain Babu and anchored by general secretary Asaduzzaman Mithu.