Dilip Kumar was a football fan and played the sport till he was 57 – Eagles Vine

You might be used to seeing the likes of Ranbir Kapoor, Tiger Shroff and Abhishek Bachchan on the football pitch practicing their kicks, but that’s one more field where Dilip Kumar was a trendsetter. Bollywood’s best learnt not just acting from Dilip Kumar but also the love for football. Yes, the veteran actor was a huge football fan and he had played competitive football during college, too.

By his own admission, in an interview with Cinema In India, Dilip Kumar had said in 1992, “Soccer has been my first love, my passion. It inspires a spirit of healthy combat, to lead, to work your way through odds. I played football till I was 57. It helped me tremendously as an actor… gave me a strong, flexible body…”

Not just that, Dilip Kumar was a brilliant student too, and he was fascinated with studying English. In an article for a book on Bollywood’s superstars, author Rauf Ahmed described how Dilip Kumar had made up his mind to pursue languages in college but at the behest of his father, he had to take up science. Disappointed with the choice, he lent his focus to football and excelled at it, too. But an Anglo-Indian lobby at Wilson College in Bombay kept him out of the college team. Frustrated with the lack of chances, he moved to Khalsa College and excelled at the sport.

Dilip Kumar had also admitted to having ambitions of being a cricketer and he wanted to score several centuries playing for the Indian team, too. His passion for cricket helped his philanthropic endeavours though. Throughout his career Dilip Kumar captained many Bollywood cricket teams in charity matches. His appearances in such matches in Kolkata, playing against actor Uttam Kumar’s team and others in Hyderabad and Bangalore continue to be talked about to date.


The Times of India

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