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Tikaram praises Raju's services

Fiji Sports

Former Nadi rep, Ganga Raju (R) with Satish DuttaFormer Nadi rep, Ganga Raju (R) with Satish DuttaNADI football alumni are saddened with the passing away of former district footballer and administrator Ganga Raju.

The career schoolteacher, (63-98) was the district secretary, a player and the captain on the 1969 Inter District Championship winning team that beat Suva 1-0 on an Aiyub Kutty goal at Labasa’s Subrail Park.

He was 78 years old.

Former football administrator and sporting pioneer, Bobby Tikaram said Raju was a great footballer, turned administrator following his retirement from the sport.

“He (Raju) set standards, both as an amazing footballer and administrator, who transcended the sport”, he said.

“Raju was a man mountain, when Nadi won the first IDC in 1969 in Labasa.

“His contributions to the district was unerring. He also served the community with absolute distinction”.

Raju formed the Blues Football Club in 1964, the club plays in the premier league of the Nadi Football Association.

The players have represented both the Nadi and Fiji nation team, with the likes of Rasul Dean,Mani Naicker, Jo Gock, Boy Reddy, Peter Dean, Chandar Bhan Singh and many more.

Tikaram said Raju was considered for Fiji national team in 1961-1962 but had opted out because of his teaching career.

Raju was sick for some time and passed away on Tuesday, his funeral will be held today at Nadi’s Wailoaloa Crematorium.

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