Manzur Hasan Mintu was a true renaissance man. A brilliant student and an efficient public servant, he earned fame both as a multitalented sportsman and a sports commentator. The otherwise introvert bespectacled gentleman lived a life larger than canvas and whichever he did, he excelled.
A national sports awardee for his contributions in football and badminton, Mintu earned more hearts as a sports commentator. With a cultured tone and rich Bengali vocabulary, he earned respect and admiration among peers and listeners at times when sports commentary was as much literature as it was sports.
This beacon of Bangladesh sports breathed his last yesterday evening after suffering a heart attack in the North Indian city of Jaipur. Mintu was with his wife professor Parvin Hasan while in a visit to Ajmer Sharif. It was learnt that he collapsed in the hotel bathroom and was rushed to the hospital where duty doctors pronounced him dead in the evening. He was 74. The soft-spoken sports personality left behind his wife, a son and a host of well-wishers to mourn.
Born in the southern district of Satkhira, Mintu joined the public service after graduating from the University of Dhaka and worked as an Income tax commissioner for long. After his retirement from public service, Mintu joined national sports council as treasurer where he served for the rest of his life.
But despite his administrative responsibilities, Mintu stayed with sports till the last day of his life. A Blue of the Dhaka University, he started his football career as a goalkeeper of Kamal Sporting in second division in 1958 before joining the then invincible Dhaka Wanderers in the early 60s. He also represented Pakistan national football team in the 1958 Asian Games in Tokyo.
The multitalented sportsman, who won the national sports award in 1978, also played cricket for Bakshibazar Sporting Club and National Sporting Club for 26 years and played badminton as well.
After calling time as a sportsman almost forty years ago, Mintu started sports commentary on radio and television, making himself a household name among the mass.