|Judge’s Field major sports venue between 50-61|
GUWAHATI, July 6 – The spectators of the sports events held at the Judge’s Field belonged mostly to Uzanbazar, Panbazar and Rail Station Railway Colony areas of Guwahati town between the 1950 and 1961. During this period, the Judge’s Field was the major sports venue of this historic town and it used to attract spectators like anything, said noted writer Kumudeswar Hazarika.
Initially, the soccer teams taking part in the football matches held on this ground also belonged mostly to Uzanbazar and Panbazar areas.
The Guwahati Football League, which started in 1945 at the initiative of the Panbazar Maharana Athletic Club (Maharana AC) and had its trophy named as Barun (Sen Gupta) Memorial Cup, had initially seen participation of only six soccer teams and in its second year, four more soccer teams joined it, while two of the original six teams did not join it. However, the first venue of this football league was the Paltanbazar Police Reserve Ground.
The soccer clubs that initially took part in the Guwahati Football League were Maharana AC, Friends’ Union of Uzanbazar, Kamrup Police of Paltanbazar, Kohinoor AC of Lakhtokia, Maharana Heroes of Panbazar and the Yuvak Sangha – which is now known as the West Guwahati Club.
During the final match of the first year of the League, there occurred a tussle between the supporters of the Kamrup Police team and the Friends’ Union on a decision of the referee. The match was hence abandoned. Next year, the Guwahati Football Association undertook the responsibility to organise the League and the Judge’s Field was chosen as its venue. That year, Gauhati Town Club, the oldest football club of Guwahati, which was established in 1907, Sporting Union of Paltanbazar (established in 1945), Young Union (established in 1943) of Panbazar and Western Eleven of North Guwahati joined the League. However, Maharana Heroes, which was the B-team of the Maharana AC and Kamrup Police did not take part in the League.
The Friends’ Union Club became champion of the League that year, with the Kohinoor Club becoming the runners up. The trophy that year was donated by Kohinoor Club and it was named Md Kayus Memorial Cup.
Since 1946, the Judge’s Field remained the venue of the Guwahati Football League till 1962, Hazarika said. The Judge’s Field was also the venue of the Bordoloi Trophy Invitational Football Tournament, which was started in 1952 by the Gauhati (Guwahati since the late 1980s) Town Club. The first trophy of the tournament was donated by Lokabandhu Dr Bhubaneswar Borooah. Later, the trophy was replaced on several occasions. In 1953, the Bordoloi Trophy tournament was taken over by the Gauhati Football Association. The first team to lift the Bordoloi Trophy was the Assam Railway AC of Pandu and the first runners up of this football tournament was Union Sporting Club of Nagaon.
When the flow of spectators from all over Assam and North Bengal became uncontrollable in the 1961 final match of the Bordoloi Trophy held between the Assam Rifles’ Soccer Eleven and Friends’ Union Club of Jalpaiguri, North Bengal, late R G Baruah, who was the then president of the Gauhati Sports Association (established in 1956), decided almost single-handedly to shift the Bordoloi Trophy Tournament venue to the Nehru Stadium, which was inaugurated on July 16, 1962.
Bordoloi Trophy Tournament used to start in the month of June till then, because of the summer vacation of Cotton College. Hostels of this college were used to accommodate the players of the teams coming from the distant places. But with the inbuilt facilities of the Nehru Stadium to take care of this accommodation problem, Bordoloi Trophy Tournament dates were postponed to August since 1962, said Hazarika.