Syed Abdul Rahim
|Date of birth||17 August 1909|
|Place of birth||Hyderabad, Hyderabad State|
|Date of death||11 June 1963(aged 53)|
|Place of death||Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh|
|1943–1950||Hyderabad City Police (head coach & secretary)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Abdul Rahim (17 August 1909 – 11 June 1963) was an Indian football coach and manager of the Indian national team from 1950 until his death in 1963 and a former player. He is regarded as the architect of modern Indian football. Basically a teacher by profession, he was a good motivator and his tenure as a coach is regarded as a "golden age" of football in India. He led the Indian team to the semi-finals of the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Football tournament making India the first ever Asian country to achieve this place.
Rahim was born on 17 August 1909 in Hyderabad, India. In his early years, he represented the City College, Hyderabad and played for a team "Eleven Hunters" that was made up of current and former students of the college. After a couple of years as a teacher, he returned to the college to complete his arts degree. Therafter he worked as the teacher succesively in Kacheguda Middle School, Urdu Shariff School, Darul-ul-Uloom High School and Chadarghat High School. He took a diploma in physical education and took charge of sports activities in the last two schools.
In 1942, Rahim was elected as the Secretary of the Hyderabad Football Association. He also became the coach of the Hyderabad City Police from 1943 until 1963. Rahim's first assignment as the coach of India was to train the team that toured Ceylon in 1949. Two years later, India won the gold in the first Asian Games.
During Rahim's tenure, the Indian football team enjoyed a great deal of success. Apart from winning the Asian games in 1951 and 1962, India also reached the semi-finals of the 1956 Melbourne Olympics which is still considered India's greatest ever achievement in football.
Rahim's last success was at the Jakarta Asian games in 1962 where India went on to win gold, beating South Korea in the finals in front of a crowd of 100,000.
Syed Abdul Rahim died from cancer on 11 June 1963 after being bed-ridden for six months.
When Indian national coach Alberto Fernando had gone to a workshop in Brazil in 1964, he said:
What I learnt from Rahim in 1956 is being taught now in Brazil. Verily, he was a football prophet.
In popular culture
- Basu, Jaydeep (17 August 2009). "Forgotten on birth centenary- Legendary coach rahim". Calcutta, India: telegraphindia.com. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
- "India's football heroes of Rome Olympics felicitated". in.news.yahoo.com. 13 April 2011. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
- "Legends Of Indian Football". goal.com. 10 July 2011. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
- "1956 Olympics team members to return monetary grant". Chennai, India: hindu.com. 5 August 2009. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
- N. Ganesan, "Loss to Indian Soccer", Sport & Pastime, p.14, 27 July 1963.
- novy kapadia (2000). "triumphs and disaster: the story of indian football, 1889-2000" (PDF). p. 19. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
- Paul Dimeo, James Mills (2001). Soccer in South Asia: empire, nation, diaspora. Antony Rowe Ltd. p. 20. ISBN 0-7146-8170-9. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
- "Olympians want Padma Bhushan for Rahim". timesofindia.indiatimes.com. 17 January 2012. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
- "The wonder that was Rahim". The New Indian Express. 4 July 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2013.