Srinagar, May 19: The yesteryears star footballer of State Farooq Ahmad Bhat known as Pele of Kashmir passed away on Friday night at his residence after losing his fight with various health ailments.
 Known all over state fir his brilliant killer instinct of scoring goals Farooq was known as Pele of Kashmir for his resemblance with world famous football great Brazilian striker Pele.
 He proudly carried that tag on his shoulders helping his teams to win numerous state and national level events across the Country. He was star face of state team and his club JKSRTC during his playing career.  
 Starting his career in 1960 with Babarshah local side, he went on to become most feared lethal striker of his time. After Barbarshah he joined SP College and then university of Kashmir. After couple of years he joined JKSRTC and made it most feared and star studded side of State. He remained with SRTC till 1978. Not only he made his club proud at various state and national level events but he also represented State in many national events. Went on to captain side on couple of time.
 After his retirement from the active football he was in touch with the game through associations and various other events. He was the main architect in nineties to start Players Association, a parallel association to J&K Football Association to run the affairs of football in State. It was an attempt to revive football in state after seeing the ailing condition of game because of then JKFA. He succeeded in his attempt and if today football is regaining its lost glory it can be mostly attributed to this legend, who made countless efforts for that.
 Not only footballers but the whole sports fraternity of State has condoled the Farooq’s demise and has termed it end of an era.
 Convening an emergency condolence meeting under the chairmanship of President Zamir Thakur, the J&K Football Association has termed it big loss.
 “Farooq was an ace footballer ( Pele of Kashmir) of his times. He was through gentleman and was known fir his simplicity, straight forwardness and honesty. He dominated the scene in football for a long time and people still remember him as a great legend in football not only in state but in entire Country” JKFA statement said.
 “He was associated with JKFA for almost three decades and dedicated himself for promotion of the game. His death has created a void which cannot be filled,” it said.
 The JKFA has decided to suspend all its activities till Tuesday May 22.
 Shaheen Sports Syndicate (SSS) in its statement has termed Farooq as the legend and a person who fought for the rights of the players.
 “He not only was great player but also fought for the rights of the players whenever he was something wrong is happening,” SSS statement read.
 J&K Cricket Association has also condoled his demise and said that it is shock for whole sports fraternity.
  “Demise of most gifted footballer of yesteryears Farooq Ahmad has come as a shock to entire sports fraternity. He was the most talented and stylish players to have represented the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Football lovers will miss Farooq for his brilliance in football” JKCA statement issued by treasurer Manzoor Wazir said.
 “Very few people know that he was also a very good cricketer,” statement added.
 Yesteryears well known footballer of state, MY Labroo while expressing his shock said, “He was king, a legend of football in our state. No body has matched and no one will match his talent and qualities. I was playing his rival as defender and had many memorable duals with him. On pitch he was fearch competitor while out field was one the gentleman person known ever to me.”
 Former general secretary of JKFA Bashir Malik, Football Players Welfare Association, secretary JK bank sports Board Muhammad Amin Khan, International football coach Sajid Yousuf Dar has also condoled his demise.

Lastupdate on : Sat, 19 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 19 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 20 May 2012 00:00:00 IST

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