Celebrating Hakim’s journey
Syed Shahid Hakim was an Indian footballer, manager and FIFA official. Popularly known as Hakim Saab, he was born on 23 June 1939 in Hyderabad. According to family sources, he died on Sunday, 22 August 2021, in a hospital at Gulbarga, Karnataka.
He was admitted to the hospital after suffering from a stroke. His wife Sadia Syeda informed the PTI that he died at 8:30 am IST on Sunday and was 82 years old at the time of his death.
Syed Shahid Hakim’s love for football came from his father, Syed Abdul Rahim, an Indian footballer and coach who led the country to the semi-finals in the Olympics of 1956 and also helped them win two Asian gold medals.
Hakim’s association with Indian football has been for more than five decades. Syed Shahid Hakim was known for coaching the national football team, training the players and overseeing the team play during any tournament.
He also held the responsibility as an assistant coach to PK Banerjee – the Indian professional footballer who passed away on 20 March 2020- in the Asian Games of 1982 that took place in Delhi.
As one of the players that represented India in the Olympics of 1960 that was hosted in Rome, Hakim took the role of a central midfielder.
However, he would often complain that he did not get enough time to be in the fields because of his coach, who was his father, Syed Abdul Rahim.
Hakim won the Santosh Trophy for services in 1960, and at the club level, he played for the Hyderabad team named City College Boys and the Indian Air Force.
After his retirement as a professional football player, Hakim continued to remain in the sport by becoming a referee. In the international field, Shahid has been a FIFA Badge international referee holder and has supervised the AFC Asian Cup Matches in 1988.
He is known to have officiated 33 international games in his career. His coaching record also comprises the time he coached Salgaocar and Hindustan FC. Hakim was celebrated for training and guiding the former Mahindra & Mahindra to win the Durand Cup title in 1998.
They won against a brooding East Bengal group. His serious engagement with coaching ended with managing the Bengal Mumbai FC in the Mumbai Football League for a period of one year from 2004-05.
Achievements and Accolades
He was awarded the Dronacharya, the sports coaching honour of the Republic of India, given to those outstanding coaches in sports and games during his successful career span.
The Republic of India also conferred Hakim with the Dyan Chand Award for lifetime achievement in Sports and Games in 2017.
Hakim’s last duty as the regional director of the Sports Authority of India was taking responsibility as a project director to recruit potential talents/players before the U-17 FIFA World Cup of 2017.
After successfully beating the dreadful Covid-19 last year in the month of June, it is indeed a significant loss for India to lose a player, a coach and an ambitious man who went to heights to make India gain prominence in the field of football.
As the country mourns Syed Shahid Hakim’s passing, may the lives he has inspired continue to live his legacy and follow in his footsteps.