New Delhi: India football team goalkeeper Subhasish Roy Chowdhury has revealed that he and his family had to starve for days and live on “leftover pieces” of food in order to satisfy hunger.
A professional goalkeeper for over 18 years now, Subhasish has won every single domestic competition in India and has been an integral part of the Blue Tigers for over a decade.
At 35, he even got a call from head coach Igor Stimac to be a part of the camp in Dubai for the March friendlies against Oman and UAE.
“We used to live in Teghoria (in Kolkata). My dad, Late Samiran Roy Chowdhury, got influenced by some evil souls and took up drinking. He was our sole earning member, we were a family of 8 — 4 brothers and 2 sisters besides my parents,” AIFF quoted Subhasish as saying.
“With dad not earning anymore, my mom was left with no option, and took up the job of a maid nearby. My elder sister also went with her. I was barely 5, and when mom went out, I took care of everyone at home.”
“When you starve for days, and live on leftover pieces from your neighbour, that too not without any guarantee that you will even get them — all romanticism goes out for a toss,” he added.
The goalkeeper said the story was the same for him even when he grew up as his family was unable to pay rent and kept on vacating in search of a home.
“The story stayed the same as I grew up. We were unable to pay rent, and had to vacate again. We went back to Teghoria, this time surrounded by four walls but no roof overhead. It was a house that was under construction but hadn’t been completed,” said Subhasish.
But things started to fall in place when Subhasish received a call-up for junior India side.
“I only knew to work, and work harder than all. I signed for East Bengal, and was called for the U-19 national team and flew to Pakistan. But as I wasn’t getting much time to play in the club, I opted for Mahindra United. It was a big risk, as till then, everyone was only flocking to play in Kolkata,” said the goalkeeper.
“In the meantime, I built a roof overhead at our home. Mahindra was a star-studded squad. Sandip Nandy, Dikap-da (Mondal), Sur-bhai (Surkumar Singh), Mahesh-bhai (Gawali), Venky-bhai (Shanmugam Venkatesh), Jules-bhai (Alberto), Yakubu (Yusif), Barreto (Jose Ramirez) and others,” he further said.
“We won the NFL, the Federation Cup, the IFA Shield, the Durand Cup. There was no looking back for me since then. I have won everything in India, even the Indian Super League. And I have also donned the national jersey,” Subhasish added.
The Indian goalkeeper wants the young players to be patient as in sports nothing is constant and one must keep working on his skills.
“In sports, you need to be patient. Nothing is constant. Your time will come for sure. And in sports and life, there’s no room for false pride. Today you are a king, tomorrow will be different. You need to soak in all the pain, and never complain. The road will never be a straight one,” Subhasish signed off.