Former footballer and national team coach Wazed Gazi, mostly known as ‘Gazi Ustad’, breathed his last at his daughter’s residence in Jessore at around 9:00am on Thursday.
Gazi, who was 87, had been suffering from old age complications.
Gazi, considered one of the best scouts of country’s football, left behind two sons, a daughter and a host of well-wishers to mourn his death.
Though Gazi was born in Bangladesh’s southwestern district of Satkhira he was raised in Barasat, a neighbourhood in Kolkata.
He began his playing career in Kolkata league with the Kolkata Sporting Union in 1961.
In his playing career, Gazi played for different clubs both in India and Bangladesh during the 1960s and 1970s.
He joined Kolkata Mohammedan in 1962 and played there for two years.
Gazi returned to Bangladesh in 1964 and started playing for BG Press before joining Dhaka Wanderers the following year.
After leaving Wanderers he played for EPIDC Club till 1970.
Gazi joined Dhaka Mohammedan Sporting Club in 1974 and played there for two years before announcing his retirement as a footballer in 1977 while playing for BJMC.
He was the captain of Jessore district which became champions in the national championship 1976.
Though Gazi never played for the Bangladesh national team he was once selected as a standby for Mardeka Cup in 1973.
After a four-year break from football, Gazi began his coaching career in 1981 with Rahmatganj MFS.
Under his supervision some local football greats like Abu Eusuf, Kayser Hamid and Imtiaz Sultan Jonny played for the Old Dhaka outfit.
Later Gazi guided Arambagh KS, Muktijoddha Sangshad KC, Farashganj SC, Sheikh Russell Krira Chakra and Team BJMC both in pre and post professional era.
He last coached Dhaka Wanderers in the first division league before getting sick.
Gazi also guided the national team for the Quaid-e-Azam Football Tournament in Pakistan in 1987.
Former national team player Jonny, who was a direct student of Gazi at Rahmatganj, said that his death was a great loss to country’s football.
‘He [Gazi] devoted his life for football which we rarely saw these days,’ Jonny told New Age on Thursday.
‘We learnt a lot from him because he was such a coach who knew how to produce and nurture a player even though he didn’t have any coaching certificate.’
Defender Kayser Hamid also expressed his deep shock at the death of Gazi.
‘He was my coach when I was playing for Rahmatganj and he coached me in the national team also,’ said Hamid.
‘It was a great loss for country’s football because he had a great ability to judge a player’s quality within very short time.
‘Another thing that made him different from other coaches was his neutrality.’
Gazi was laid to rest at Karbala Graveyard after his Namaz-e-janaza at the Central Eid-Gah field in Jessore after Asr prayer on Thursday.
Bangladesh Football Federation, Bangladesh Olympic Association, Arambagh Krira Sangha and Sonali Atit Club expressed their deep shock at the death of Gazi.
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