KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club are in a state of mourning following the passing of Club legend Syed Latifuddin Najam (71) on Tuesday following a massive cardiac arrest at his residence in Hyderabad.
The Hyderabad native played for Mohammedan Sporting Club for nine years, and the Club conferred Latifuddin with it’s highest honour Shan-e-Mohammedan in 2017.
“I have received the devastating news of Syed Latifuddin’s passing,” laments Mohammedan Sporting Club President Jb. Mohammad Amiruddin. “I am still reeling from the shock of hearing this sad news.”
“Syed Latifuddin may be gone but he will never be forgotten. His memory will linger on in the hearts and minds of the Mohammedan Sporting Club faithfuls.” he further added.
Latifuddin, the son of 1952 Helsinki Olympian Jb. Syed Khaja Moinuddin, was a useful winger who could play on both flanks. Latifuddin began his career at Andhra Pradesh Police Team before moving to Kolkata in 1970 with Mohammedan Sporting Club.
Having spent a couple of seasons at Mohammedan Sporting Club, Latifuddin switched his allegiance to East Bengal in 1972. However, he returned to Mohammedan Sporting Club very next year and stayed till 1980.
During his second spell with Mohammedan Sporting Club, he formed a lethal strike force with the likes of Mohammed Habib, Mir Sajjad and Mohammed Akbar, that helped the Black Panthers to win many accolades in 70s.
In 1981, Latifuddin again joined East Bengal before returning to Mohammedan Sporting Club for one last time in his career in 1982.
Latifuddin has bacame the top scorer in 1976 Calcutta Football League with 22 goals, a feat that has only achieved by 12 other Mohammedan Sporting Club footballers 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.