Around one hundred former players, technical staff members, wives, children and grand children of Panvel Sports Club gathered at a hall in Agassaim on Saturday , to re-live the memories when the club won the Bandodkar Gold Trophy forty five years back.
The Bandodkar Gold Trophy was Goa’s prestigious tournament normally won by the big four financially strong teams of those years – Dempo SC, Salgoacar FC , Vasco SC and Sesa Goa – and Panvel SC became the first village team to break through the clout of the rich and annex the Trophy.
There were hugs; there were tears of joy; there were memories recounted; and there was joy as the good of the past was brought alive in the present. In the end, the story of Panvel SC emerged as the story of triumph of dedication and former president Antonio Bothelo emerged as the best player scout of those years.
After we had won the Bandodkar Gold Trophy , we were hosted for dinner by Branco and I do not remember how we all ended up at the Dona Paula jetty where we had to wait for the first bus to return home the next morning, Bothelo had stated in similar lines in The Navhind Times , a few week back. At the end of the reunion on Saturday – which was followed by cocktails and lunch– all returned home in their respective vehicles pandered by memories of over fifty years. It was this same date, 45 years back, on the same day of the week that Panvel SC had won the Bandodkar Gold Trophy and in fleeting moments, it appeared they had won it again on Saturday.
Salgaocar FC great Oscar Noronha was along with his colleagues Digambar Haldankar and Brahmanand Sancoalcar. Former Dempo SC great Alex Miranda was there along with his colleague Francis D’souza (matari). There were players who flew in from USA; some from London and the Gulf to meet, share and revive the old bonds of friendship that Panvel SC managed to create.