Like every Goan, the love of football coursed through Vasudev Mahadeva Salgaocar’s veins. After establishing himself in the business world, his group — House of Salgaocar — earned the distinction of becoming the first business house to start a football team in the state.

From Vimson (an abbreviation of V M Salgaocar & Sons) in 1956 to Salgaocar Sports Club, the club dominated at home and won plenty of honours, but a major outstation trophy eluded them. For more than 20 years, all that remained in the cabinet was the Nagpur Rovers Cup.

There were narrow misses. In 1975, for example, Salgaocar were unlucky to have been knocked out in the final of both the Nizam Gold Cup and TNFA Shield.

Two years later, they lost another final, this time at Bangalore, now Bengaluru, when they were defeated by Indian Telephone Industries (ITI) in the Puttaiah Memorial Cup.

So, when Salgaocar travelled to Bengaluru for the next edition of Puttaiah Memorial in 1978, nobody knew what to expect.

Originally published in The Times of India

October 18, 2021