Kolkata: It was August 16, 1980 when a grimmest tragedy occurred in the football field which shocked the entire nation as it claimed the lives of as many sixteen football lovers at a stampede during a match between the arch-rivals East Bengal and Mohun Bagan at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

In the aftermath of the tragic event, thousands of well meaning lovers of the beautiful game and the people from all walks of life assembled to offer the gift of their blood voluntarily.

The 36th occasion of the Football Lovers’ Day — observed by The Indian Football Association (W.B) — will be held as usual on 16 August, 2016 (Tuesday) at the Kshudiram Anushilan Kendra in Kolkata. The blood donation camp will start at 9.00 am. and continue till 6.00 pm.

The first ever Football Lovers’ Day was observed in 1981 where a total number of 1203 people donated their blood and since 2010 the Football Lovers’ Day has been observed by the District Football Associations as well.

Association of Voluntary Blood Donors, West Bengal has been entrusted by The Indian Football Association (W.B.) for management of the said camp like previous years Govornment Blood Banks of West Bengal will take part for collection of blood from the donors.

This year each donor will be presented with a certificate of honour signed by former India international football Sri Pradip Chowdhury with a ceremonial badge of IFA.

It is heartening that football lovers in the Districts and Sub-Divisions have also been inspired to observe the day in a similar manner in their respective places. This year the following such organizations have come forward to observe the day.

1. Ujjiban Voluntary Blood Donors Society, Hindusthan Cables, Bardhaman.

2. Chittaranjan Selfless Service Society, Chittaranjan, Bardhaman.

3. Siliguri Welfare Organisation, Darjeeling.

4. Ghatal Voluntary Blood Donors Association, Ghatal, Paschim Medinipur.

5. Taki Aryan Club, Taki, North 24 Parganas.

6. Kulti Town Social Welfare Committee, Kulti, Burdwan.

7. Tamluk Voluntary Blood Donors Association, Tamluk, Purba Medinipur.

8. Purulia Town Club, Purulia.

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About Ajay M.

Co-founder.