Dempo Sports Club brought down the curtains on their golden jubilee celebrations by honouring their best 50 players of all time and releasing a commemorative book titled Golden Eagles.
Selected by a panel of former players and coaches, the 50-player list had players right from the time the club was established in 1967. Dempo have always had the best players from Goa and rest of India and it made the job of the selection panel all the more difficult.
However, the panel selected the most deserving players, most of whom gathered at the Taleigao Community Centre on Tuesday to collect their award at the hands of chief minister Manohar Parrikar, president of the All India Football Federation, Praful Patel, and club president Shrinivas Dempo.
To commemorate the 50 glorious years of the club, a commemorative book that documents the club’s rich history was also released at the hands of the guests, besides Inacio Fernandes, a top-50 player who was part of the first Dempo squad in 1967.
The book has player perspectives from five players from five different decades – Socorro Coutinho, Nicholas Pereira, Mauricio Afonso, Clifford Miranda and Samir Naik – besides accounts from five other personalities, which includes the group chairman (Shrinivas Dempo), its most successful coach (Armando Colaco), an all-time Indian football great (Shabbir Ali), the current general secretary (Wilfred D’Souza) and football journalist (Marcus Mergulhao).
The 168-page book has an elaborate pictorial section which pays tribute to the patrons, officials, coaches and players who contributed to the success story while also highlighting some of its domestic, national and international triumphs that accrued along the way.
“When I was in Delhi, I learnt that outside Goa, Dempo is only known for football and no other business. I congratulate Dempo for their phenomenal success during the last 50 years,” said Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar, who was the chief guest.
AIFF president Praful Patel also paid a rich tribute to Dempo Sports Club.
“The DNA of Goa can be only described in one word –football. And it’s wonderful to be here to celebrate wonderful 50 years journey of one of the most illustrious institutions of Goa –Dempo SC,” said Patel.
Club president and group chairman Shrinivas Dempo was pleased with the progress his club has made since inception in 1967 and is now looking forward to a new project.
“We are starting an academy. We have already chosen 24 boys. We are going to pay fully-funded tuition fee including their school and stay arrangements,” said Dempo.