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The legend of Majid, in words of old friend Jamshid

In 1987, Majid last played for Mohammedan Sporting and went back to Iran

By Arindam Bandyopadhyay in Calcutta
  • Published 11.08.19, 2:55 AM
  • Updated 11.08.19, 2:55 AM
  • 2 mins read
Jamshid Nassiri Telegraph picture

The year was 1980. East Bengal saw a massive exodus of star players to Mohammedan Sporting and were looking for reinforcements.

Three Iranians were creating waves for Aligarh Muslim University in the inter-university tournaments. East Bengal were keen to rope in the trio. Former Mohammedan Sporting football secretary Mohammed Mashud was the link between the trio and East Bengal. They took an advance of Rs 70,000 and agreed to sign on the dotted lines.

That’s how the story began. Majid Bishkar, Jamshid Nassiri and Mahmud Khabbasi landed in the city to play for a club which was smarting from the transfer blow.

Their first tournament was the Federation Cup. Their first match was against HAL and what Calcutta witnessed was sheer magic. Majid and Jamshid scored a goal each. East Bengal fans went crazy. The final against Mohun Bagan ended 1-1 and the arch-rivals were declared joint winners.

“We are from the same region — Khorramshahr in southern Iran… used to play for the same club — Shaheen. I would have gone to England for higher studies but because of Majid I came to India,” Jamshid told The Telegraph on Saturday.

“We first came to Aligarh in June 1979… then to Calcutta in 1980. We used to stay at a hotel in south Calcutta. After the morning practice sessions we used to wander in the New Market and Park Street areas. Only the three of us would take part in another training session in the late afternoons,” Jamshid took a trip down memory lane.

Jamshid said he was thinking of taking Majid, who will be in the city in connection with East Bengal’s centenary celebrations, to the latter’s ‘once favourite’ Park Street.

“I plan to take him around Park Street. Someone who has seen the Park Street of the 80s, will not be able to recognise the area now. Majid told me he also would love to see the Maidan. He is coming for a short time. I don’t know whether we will have the time to go there, but will try.”

According to Jamshid, Majid, during his playing days, was very moody. “Majid was very moody. I believe he still is,” Jamshid said. But as a player he was out of the world. The Majid-Jamshid combination was a superhit.”

In 1987, Majid last played for Mohammedan Sporting and went back to Iran. But Jamshid stayed back. He is now a Bengali to the core.

Emeka Ezeugo, Jose Ramirez Barreto, Ranty Martins, Beto… Indian football has seen a host of foreigners plying their trade. To Jamshid though his friend remains the best. “I have not seen any foreign player in India who can match Majid,” Jamshid said.

“I tell you about one goal he scored 36 years back. In the 1983 Federation Cup final, we were in Mohammedan Sporting. Mohun Bagan conceded a free-kick in the centre-circle region. Majid scored from there. It was unbelievable and even the Bagan players clapped. Only he could score gems like that,” Jamshid signed off.