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THE OTHER AFTERNOON AT DALHOUSIE ATHLETIC CLUB….

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Utpal Chatterjee :  There were just two people occupying their chairs when I stepped in the afternoon.Even in the late afternoon,DAC,thanks to a mellowing sun looked welcoming in autumnal radiance.If you wanted to be lost in your thoughts,this was the time and place.This has been the first club on the Calcutta Maidan with some of the greatest sports legends,stalwarts and distinguished gentlemen as it’s members.Engish cricket and football legends posted in Calcutta during the War years played for this club.The club remained unbeaten for a long,very long time.When you have,say,the likes of the great Denis Compton,who played both cricket and football for England (and a young contemporary of Sir.Donald Brandman and Keith Miller),the team is star studded.Incidentally,the historic Dalhousie Athletic Club is the oldest football club in India (as the star quizzard,Neil O’Brien had once confirmed after getting the fact cross checked).The Indian Football Association (IFA) was born within its premises last century.A lot of water has flowed down the Hoogly since.The last of the English members,like Sam Black,left in the early 80s.But the club,in its present avatar,has its own priorities to contend with.It does not take too much effort to maintain a pleasant disposition.So,it is not a tall ask to promote camaraderie and bon-homie.Better days,surely,are awaiting our great Dalhousie Athletic Club.

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