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Sriram Singh

Sriram Singh


40 years ago 2 days before Babbar Sahab, arrived on borrowed money for a ticket from Delhi, at Montreal 1976 Olympics, and asked Sriram Singh Sahab, what training has been doing for past 7 days ? Sriram Sahab gave him a list prepared by a bureaucrat, in which his timing was 150th in the World, so he was told to relax as as he has no chance…Babar told him “ Tum Rajasthan ke Rajput ho, ve 150 logon to tum harao ge”, and tore that list.!

The Build up
To succeed in an international event like this, the person has to train and race in Europe for 6 months before. Milkha Sahab did for 6 months before Rome 1960 Olympics. Sikh community supported him wherever he went. Sriram Sahab went for a month in Germany with Babbar Sahab, and one German Coach wanted to coach him, but Sahab refused. One Indian Journalist said, Indians give respect by keeping their Pagdi at the feet of the person they respect, so the German kept his Cap at Babbar Sahab’s feet..But Babbar Sahab refused to let go his trainee.

Since Babbar Sahab was not the official Coach of the AFI, he did not have money for the ticket, and Norris Pritam and others pooled in for him. At the Bangkok Asiad, Sriram Sahab refused to sign the AFI appointed Coach’s name as his own coach, and he was about to be debarred. Then a senior bureaucrat intervened, and allowed Sahab to write Babbar Sahab’s name. He came 2nd in 1970 Asiad.

Babbar Sahab’s training methods were cruel.

Imagine running 100 repeats of 100m each, on the rain soaked lawns of India gate in July 1976, for one of his work outs. One Press wallah, told Babbar Sahab “Ab aapka ladka mar gaya!” (You have overtrained him.)

A bet was made, if he can run 100 m in less than 11 sec, and Sahab ran in 10.7 sec..

Punishing 150m strides on Okhla Barrage Sand Hill

Mohd Ilyas Babbar was a Hyderbadi Pathan, and he looked it. Tall, always in Kurta Pyjama, Paan in mouth, he would do Namaaz 5 times a day. (I remember Wednesday was the day for Movies in Raj Rif Center, and Babbar Sahab was doing his Namaz, so Arvind Dev and myself got late. Daddy was posted in Delhi, and the temp Acco was in Raj Rif Mess, so we would tag along Sriram Sahab every evening that Summer..). I still remember, one day, Sriram Sahab was running 7 laps, then 5 laps, 3, 1..kind of drill, and Babbar Sahab would time his recovery period..It was a complicated drill and all of us could feel the tension, as different runners were needed to keep pace with him. One poor soul was trying his hand/legs at hurdling, and kept stumbling. Babbar Sahab got irritated and said to me - yeh ladka kar ke dikha dega..And he glided over the hurdle, in his kurt a  pyjama. He had taught me for 5 min only (When I came to Modern BK a year later, and Mr Chauhan was taking a trial for hurdles, and I did it correctly, and he could not believe it that somebody could be so smooth over the hurdle..Such was the master, and such was his grace..)

Those days, he would tell his athletes to do bold front running, to meet the qualifying timings, and anyway no one could challenge them..

Babbar Sahab was 400 m hurdles Champ and Decathalon Champ of India before he took up Coaching.

A description by Jaikishan Desai : ”You would know this well Norris. In the monsoon season when the track was flooded, like others Tarlok Singh used to send me up Rajpath to that last hill leading up to Rashtrapati Bhavan. Some days I was to do 10, some days 15. His instructions were to run up the hill hard and jog down and then go again. He didn‘t say how hard, and it being offseason, hard was not particularly hard so I did what others did, and strode up the hill and jogged back down. That was till I saw Sriram Singh do those hills one day. Babar Sahab must have sent him to do that workout and when I saw him bound up that hill fast I realized that was how the hill was supposed to be run. I never did that workout the same way again. What a beautiful runner he was! The only one I saw remotely close to his form was the 400m runner Thyagarajan (Thambi). His feet barely touched the ground.”

For racing on Cinder tracks, big nail spikes were made by Kartar at Karol Bagh. You had to go to him and give Naap, and for I think 75 Rs, he would give a perfect shaped shoe 2 weeks later.

He tried to make smaller nails spikes for tartan tracks, but was not successful. One Japanese fan of Sriram Sahab, saw him run in this poor spikes and offer to send him ASICs tiger spikes. The spikes came, but the Customs levied 300% duty on that, and it was costing Rs 3000 to take it out. After many visits, and persuasion, it was given to Sahab,2 weeks before the Olympics.

Day 1 July 23, 1976 2nd to Rick Wohlhuter, USA the favourite–_Men%27s_800_metres

Day 2 July 24, 1976 4th to a race where Jauntorena came 1st

Semi Finals from 27min -

His legs are tiring, and no masseur is there, the strain of running on tartan tracks is taking its toll.. Tomorrow is the final, and I am nervous like hell.

See his Race :

(If you like this story, please call Sriram Sahab at 91-9414630702 and tell him that. You will be talking to the Greatest Sportsman this Country has produced, and will be amazed at his humility..)

Sriram Sahab is the Chairman of and helped built a Footballing Infrastructure for the Youth of Delhi.

Sriram Sahab‘s Domination of 800m at Asiad over 12 years

Tushar Dev

Tushar Dev


Late Novy Kapadia , India’s Leading Football Journalist said

Tushar Dev took over Shimla Youngs from veteran administrator BS Chauhan at the turn of the new millennium and has since then worked tirelessly to transform the image of the club.

Tushar who was a long distance runner and football player is a visionary who has made Shimla Youngs not just a football tram but also a thriving football academy. Coaching is imparted to children of all age groups throughout the year by qualified coaches.

For many years Tushar Dev took age group teams of Shimla Youngs to participate annually during the summer months in tournaments in Wales and Sweden. This gave the young players international exposure. It required exceptional organisational skills to take a large contingent of young boys to take part in international tournaments abroad each year . Tushar accepted the challenge and made sure each venture was a success.

Shimla Youngs academy is the first professionally run non residential academy in Delhi and has been thriving for years. It is a benchmark for others to emulate.

Credit to Tushar Dev for taking out time to make the Shimla Youngs academy a success. Emphasis is on fitness, game experience and learning basic skills. Above all it is a very professionally run academy where money donated is accounted for. Tushar also works tirelessly to procure sponsor for his academy.

The young players train at the Central Secretariat grounds at Chanakyapuri near Ashoka hotel and many state level players of all age groups emerge regularly from the Simla Young‘s academy which is yeoman service to develop football in the Capital.

Ex General Secretary of AIFF, Kushal Das said

I know Tushar since my direct involvement in Football as the GS of AIFF from 2010. Been impressed by his passion for football and his devotion to Shimla Youngs , a renowned football club in Delhi which he owns. I am sure he will continue his passion and his focus to unearth talent. Wish him all the best.

General Secretary of AIFF, Shaji Prabhakaran said

I personally know Tushar since last 20 years, he is part of football industry and I have closely worked with him for few football projects. It was Tushar‘s initiative when Shimla Youngs FC organised the first ever Under-10 football league in India in the year 2001. He is a visionary, strategist and does things with a great focus and purpose. 

Tushar has made a huge contribution to football in Delhi and he is actively working to clean football from age fraud problem. I wish him all the success in his endeavors.

Late Bahadur Singh Chauhan

Late Bahadur Singh Chauhan



The Great Chauhan Sahab is no more. Bahadur Singh Chauhan, died in Ruru, Himachal today, after a slip and fall in the Toilet. He was 80 years old.

When he asked me to take over the club management in 1999, my condition was - No interference from him. His was two, “ek team discipline mien rehana. chaiye, doosra club ka naam uuncha hone chaiye, and as an after thought teesra - beta mere jeeteji Mohun Bagan aur East Bengal  ko jaroor hare dena, ein do team ko mien nahi hara paya!”

The team under his coaching was ranked No3 in India, with Semi Finals with East Bengal at Durand Cup in 1973, when on the way they defeated Mafatlal, BSF, JCT and Mohd Sporting was the crowning glory.

Under him the club was 15 times DSA Champions.

And it was an amateur team (the players had a hope of getting Govt jobs, if they played for Simla Youngs). The players used to contribute Rs 5 per month for the Chai and Matri, as a snack, and we  were No3 in India ! Another classic by him - Gu Khana hain to Haathi ka Kha. (If players would leave our club to play for old city clubs, who offered money. He wanted players to play in Bengal, where more money was offered)

The Club was founded in 1936 in Shimla, to play the Durand Cup, which was played in Shimla those days. The Patrons of the club were the royal family of Shimla/Himachal - Veer Bhadra Singh’s father. Chauhan Sahab, showed me an apology letter by Mr Veer Bhadra Singh, when he was late for a club meeting, was studying in 1st Year St Stephen’s then, in 1950s.

An avid believer in black magic in Indian Football, Sipli. If the team would loose despite attacking, he was convinced it was due to Sipli. When the rational man in me, would not take it seriously, he described at length ..a final in Kolkatta, where the Mohd Sporting team coach came to shake his hand before the game, and his Muslim players wanted him to not shake it..He lost that game, and the players blamed it on the Sipli Jaadu Tona, which had got passed on by the handshake. The next match, he had got the anti dote - “Susu on your own hand” - which will kill the Hoodoo, when he shakes your hand!

A tough task master, he training methods were classic old world, and as a Match day Coach, he was strategy king, always punching much higher than his weight. If the team played well, he would not say anything (he would say, it is their duty to play well), if they failed, he would use colourful language to haul them over coals!

A Class 2 employee of Dept of Personnel and Training, he would book the ground (called Caltex, because it was near the Petrol Pump) at Vinay Marg, Chanakyapuri, Delhi and conduct coaching. Since, he was aware of postings of IAS officers, the only favour he would accept - an invite to the team for Tournament.

After retiring from Coaching, he took role in Delhi Soccer Association as a Secretary, and did a Stellar job, there too. He would watch our matches, and give me data based feedback . “This player, did only 3 miss passes in 20 min, he was on the pitch”. “This Coach is useless, he has shouted 82 times - ‘On toes’ in a 45 min half”

Since 2000, I was, with the help of the Great Sriram Singh, 800m Olympian Runner, build the Youth Infrastructure for Football in Delhi

20 School Leagues of 64 matches each, were conducted

Since 2003, Training Center at Vinay Marg was started, where at present 120 boys train

2007 to 2012  sometimes 2 to 4 Age group teams played in Wales and Gothia Cup

The “A” team never reached the heights what Chauhan Sahab had achieved :

2005 - DSA Champs

2008 - I-League 2nd Div, lost 0-1 to Pune FC

2009..2013 fighting performances, best 2-2 Mohd Sporting, 0-1 Bhawanipur FC..

but never reached top 3 in India..

5 years ago, his health went down, when he could not visit DSA Office, as often, he could earlier, as he had shifted to Gurgaon. Then he left for Ruru, in Himachal, and never came back. A few times he would talk on the phone, and ask about the club.

Sadly, I have failed to give him a win against Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, yet. If I do that, in my lifetime, maybe he will smile the top of the mountain. Waiting for that Day.

on Monday, we shall have 5 min Silence in Rememberance of Chauhan Sahab, at the Football Ground. (Tushar Dev)


The Legacy of Simla Youngs FC..
From: ved parkash <>
Date: 10 February 2018 7:37:50 PM GMT+05:30
Subject: Remembering great Chauhan saab and my playing as an extra with shimla youngs club of 1973 onwards.
Dear Tushar dev ji,
I used to practise with shimla youngs of 1973 as an extra under Chauhan saab. I was a very ordinary player, but always reached in time for practise. In those days several top level indian teams used to come for a practise match with shimla youngs. It was greatness of late Chauhan saab he used to give a chance, may be for 10 minutes, to each extra player who used to come. Several times i was asked to stand as a lines man during their practise and stood behind the goals just to collect balls kicked by players during practise. Out of my excitement i used to shout much with the word ‘lob‘.
But i never gave a chance to Chauhan saab for a complaint, except once which i still rembember, when he rebuked me for a lapse as i was talking when he was coaching. He used to shout ‘ullu ka pattha‘, but all players respected him. After the match we used to go on bycycles to a shop near race course ground for a cup of tea and a samosa. Nobody had even a scooter. Several players even used to join one another on old cycles. Sometimes we were offered a piece of barfi also, and whenever any one got a job in govt.service, he used to give a party giving 20-30 rupees and all paid membership of Rs.5 each month. Chauhan saab said once it is for your respect and involment in shimla youngs club affairs that club is charging. No one even get shoes or socks from the club howsover a good player he may be and discipline was discipline for each one. He was very humorous also and used to share jokes during his tours with players.
A few years ago when i came to know that Chauhan saab is staying at gurgaon, i went to meet him as i am also staying at gurgaon. He asked his d-in-law to offer tea to me and enjoyed it. He very happily showed me achievements of her granddaugher, who is a national skating player.
But i was sad he could not recognise me. Suddenly he said now i remember ‘you used to play in defence‘. I said, Sir, i was a very ordinary player. I will never forget his words when he said "Toh kya hua, you were very hard working and sincere player" now I remember. But suddenly he rose and said he is not feeling well and I touched his and his wife‘s feet and left. It was my last meeting with him. Though he is no more, sometimes i talk to his son and ask for his mother‘s health, who is no at Ruru, their home town in himachal. But it is sad a few players only used to remember him during those days.
I still remember those old players - DS Bisht, Chander Darshan, Matbir Singh, Surender, Guman Singh, Dalip, Dheer, Leela Kishsn Sharma, Bheem, late Munni Lal, AK Banerjee, late Chandresh Sharma(Chocchi), late Bernard, Janak, Puri, Satish Rawat, who scored an equaliser against East Bengal club in durand semi final, and many more. I am still in close relation with Chaman Bhandari, who was my neibhour since my childhood.
Pray Shimla youngs become one of the best football clubs and nursery in future. And it will be best tribute to Chauhan saab when we will beat mohun baagan and east bengal.
I am thankful when you shared moments when Chauhan saab handed over you command of great shimla youngs.
With regards,
Yours sincerely,
V.P. Bakshi