3/1/2018 12:04:48 PM (GMT+3)

It’s difficult to forget the years in Calcutta: Amalraj

It’s difficult to forget the years in Calcutta: Amalraj

Calcutta: Just like his elder brother John, who passed away in 2015, Victor Amalraj earned fame and popularity in a city where top footballers gave Bengal film icons a run for their money in the seventies and eighties.

Such was their charm and star appeal that most of the magazines during that era had cover stories on them.

John, who led Sporting to Calcutta League title in 1967, was a huge influence on him.

“He pushed me to go to Calcutta after Andhra Pradesh beat Bengal in the B C Roy Trophy final in 1976. I scored the only goal in the match. Railways offered me a job, but my brother advised me to go to Calcutta,” said Amalraj, a Deputy General Manager at FCI in Hyderabad.

“I want to take a stroll at the Park Street and have snacks at the Flurys followed by a spicy dinner at the Amber. I would love to spend a day in Calcutta,” added the former feisty midfielder, who went to Calcutta in the late 70s.

As a schoolboy, he started at the Secunderabad-based Bolarum Sporting in the Senior Division Rahim League in 1974-75.

Bolarum has produced some of India’s greatest footballers including Anthony Patrick, KP Dhanraj, Dharmalingam Kannan, Peter Thangaraj, Tulasidas Balaram all whom played in Calcutta.

Asked why football is dead in his own city, he said, “We need a sports culture in the schools, which lack infrastructure. The kids have a difficult choice to make between academics and sports. With such constraints, it’s difficult to produce good players. We can expect talent from small towns and villages, but not from cities."