BSP-17 Former national footballer Helal no more

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ZCZC

BSP-17

OBIT-HELAL LEAD

Former national footballer Helal no more

(UPDATES with burial)

DHAKA, May 30, 2020 (BSS)- Former star footballer of the country Golam Rabbani Helal died at a city hospital today.

“The ex-national midfielder breathed his last at Square Hospitals around 12 noon at the age of 67,” said a Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) press release.

He had been on the life support at the hospital since Thursday after suffering a brain hemorrhage at his Dhanmondi residence.

Helal left behind his wife and two daughters as well as a host of relatives and well-wishers to mourn his death.

Before the brain hemorrhage, Helal had been suffering from kidney disease. He also underwent an open-heart surgery after sustaining a cardiac arrest in April, 2017.

The ex-star footballer was laid to eternal rest at the Azimpur Graveyard after Maghrib prayers following his second namaz-e-janaza on the BFF premises in the evening.

Earlier, Helal’s body was taken to his beloved Abahani Club in the afternoon where his first namaz-e- janaza was held.

As a mark of paying profound respect to his memory, the Abahani Limited will keep its flag half-mast for the next three days.

The club will also hold a special prayer on June 2 after Asr prayers seeking eternal peace of the departed soul of Helal.

Apart from a short stint at Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC), Helal played for the national team from 1979 to 1985.

At the club level, he had been a permanent player of Abahani Limited, a leading sporting club of the country, where he played from 1975 to 1988.

He was one of the four footballers who landed in prison following chaos in a Dhaka derby against arch-rivals Mohammedan Sporting Club in 1982.

After retiring from football, Helal became a director of Abahani and served the club in different capacities. He also held the post of BFF executive committee member for five years.

BFF President Kazi Mohammad Salahuddin and its other office-bearers and staff expressed deep shock and sorrow at the demise of Helal.

They prayed for eternal peace of the departed soul and conveyed profound sympathy to the bereaved family.

In a separate condolence message, Abahani Limited expressed profound shock at the death of Helal and recalled his outstanding contributions to the club’s success in soccer in the 1970s and 80s.

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) Director Nojib Ahmed also condoled the death of the former star footballer.

BSS/SG/SH/2144hrs