July 21, 2016 09:11 PM NPT
Lifetime achievement award winner Shreeram Ranjitkar poses for a photo during the NSJF Pulsar Sports Award 2072 at Nepal Academy, Kamaladi in Kathmandu on Thursday.(Bijay Gajmer/Republica )
KATHMANDU, July 21 : Former national football captain Shreeram Ranjitkar, who has spent more than four decades of his life in sports, was rewarded with lifetime achievement award during the annual Pulsar Sports Award held in the capital on Thursday.
Ranjitkar, 60, a member of the gold medal winning national football squad during the first edition of the South Asian Games (SAG) in 1984 said, “I have received many honors, but this is the biggest honor of my life. I am thankful to Nepal Sports Journalists Forum for this award.”
Ranjitkar, who contributed as a 'stopper' for the national team, was the first batch of player to wear national jersey and played a key role in Nepal's gold, silver and bronze medal haul from the first to the third editions of the SAG. He also played in the fourth edition of the games back in 1989.
He played official football matches for the country for eight years from 1982 to 1989 though he had already played unofficial tournament in the national jersey for the first time in 1979 during the Aga Khan Gold Cup in Dhaka.
Besides serving as a footballer, he also contributed in football as FIFA referee, referee assessor, referee instructor and time keeper in athletics and swimming. By the virtue of being player, he got job at the National Sports Council three decades ago and retired from his duty at the sports governing body last year.
He started his football career from then B division outfit Club Yeti at the age of 17. After playing three years in the second division, he got a chance to feature in the first division from Thamel XI and later he joined New Road Team. He played from almost all top-flight teams of the country then. He also spent two years of his professional career with Bangladesh top-flight team Dhaka Wanderers and Brothers Union. He officiated football matches in the capacity of FIFA referee from 1993 to 2002.
However, he says he doesn't have any plans to retire from football. “I will work with football as long as my physical fitness permits me,” said Ranjitkar, who has been spreading the technical knowledge of football through All Nepal Football Association after retiring from the NSC.