A big bad news came in hockey in Bangladesh this morning. Former hockey player and organizer Shamsul Bari has crossed over to the land of no return. He breathed his last at a hospital in the capital today around five o’clock in the morning. And after a few days he would turn 75 years old. His funeral will be held today at 1 pm at Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium.
Shamsul Bari was the joint secretary of Hockey Federation from 1984 to 1988. He was the General Secretary of Bangladesh Hockey Federation for 18-19 years from 1988 to 2007. Became a member of the Asian Hockey Federation in 2022. Shamsul Bari was the Deputy Secretary General of Bangladesh Olympic Association. There was an umpire, a judge. He played in defense and had a reputation as a penalty corner specialist.
The organizer lit up the field before life with a hockey stick. Shamsul Bari, a member of the East Pakistan hockey team, hails from Dhaka’s Armanitola School. He was one of the faces of the school’s hockey tradition. In 1972 he got Blue from Dhaka University. In 1977 Bangladesh Sports Writers Association gave him the best player award. In 1993, he was recognized as the best hockey organizer by the Bangladesh Sports Journalists Association. In 1995, Bangladesh Sports Writers Association gave the same recognition.
He was born on July 8, 1946 in Rajshahi. Hockey started in Dhaka in 1964 in Mohammedan Sporting Club jersey. In 1965, he moved to Mahuttuli Club in old Dhaka. Played in Mahuttuli until 1970. He was a member of Mahuttuli Club, the champion of Dhaka First Division Hockey League organized for the first time in 1974. He went to Abahani that year. Played in Abahani till 1978.
He played in the East Pakistan team from 1968 to 1970. In 1972, he was a member of the Dhaka XI that played in the Nehru Cup of India. Shamsul Bari was the assistant captain of the unannounced Bangladesh national team. In 1974, he played for the champion Dhaka district in the national championship. From 1975 to 1978 he played in the jersey of the Dhaka district team. Dhaka became the champion in the national championship in these 3 years.
The biggest match of his life was in 1970. Played for East Pakistan in a friendly match against the then Pakistan national team in Dhaka. Pakistan was the best team in the world at that time. East Pakistan team lost that match by one goal.
Shamsul Bari’s death has cast a shadow of mourning on hockey in the country. Hockey Federation Acting General Secretary Mohammad Yusuf said, “We have lost a guardian.” His contribution to the development of hockey in the country will be forever remembered. Besides expressing his condolences, Vice President of Hockey Federation Yusuf Ali Khob also said, “Bari Bhai has done a lot of work for hockey. But he did not get the National Sports Award. He had to leave with this sadness. A hockey-minded organizer like Shamsul Bari Bhai will never come again. His death is an irreparable loss to hockey in the country.