Neville D’Souza Age, Death, Wife, Children, Family, Biography

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Hometown: Bombay
Age: 47 Years
Death Cause: Brain Haemorrhage

Neville D'Souza

Full NameNeville Steven Joseph D'Souza
Physical Stats & More
Height (approx.)5' 6" (168 cm)
International Debut1953 Quadrangular Tournament in Rangoon
Jersey Number# 14 (India)
Domestic/State Team• Goans SC (1955-1956)
• Tata SC (1956-1958)
• Caltex SC (1958-1963)
• Maharashtra
Coach/MentorSyed Abdul Rahim
Syed Abdul Rahim
Achievement & Honour• Title "Top Scorer in Summer Olympics" in Summer Olympics (1956)
• An Award was dedicated to him on Independence day by the Goa government (1990)
RecordFirst to score a hat-trick in Olympics (against Australia in 1956)
Personal Life
Date of Birth3 August 1932 (Wednesday)
Birthplace Assagao, Goa
Date of Death16 March 1980
Place of DeathBombay (now Mumbai), Maharashtra
Age (at the time of death)47 Years
Death CauseBrain haemorrhage
Zodiac signLeo
Nationality• British Indian (1932 - 1947)
• Indian (1947 onwards)
HometownBombay (now Mumbai)
SchoolSt. Xavier’s High School, Bombay
CollegeSt. Xavier’s College, Bombay
Educational QualificationGraduated
Relationships & More
Marital StatusMarried
Wife/Spouse Lyra
ChildrenSon- Nigel

• Liesel
• Fleurel
SiblingsBrother- Dereyk D'Souza (footballer)

Neville D'Souza

Some Lesser Known Facts About Neville D’Souza

  • Neville played both hockey and football equally well in his school days. He is a ‘double national’ player for playing the national trophy in both games.
  • After representing his school and colleges in various hockey competitions, he played for the Tata Sports Club for the Beighton Trophy.
  • In 1952, under the Tata Sports Club, he went on a hockey tour to East Africa and scored 34 goals in 17 matches.
  • In 1953 and 1954, he won the Beighton Cup in Calcutta. Parallely, he represented Bombay in the National Hockey Championship between 1953 and 1955.
  • Alongside hockey, Neville from 1953 to 1955 played in the Quadrangular Tournament. In 1953, he scored India’s win against its tough competitor, Pakistan. He also won the tournament in the next two years, having achieved the Colombo Cup thrice in 1953, 1954, and 1955.
  • In 1955, he made a professional decision to choose football as a full-time career over hockey and joined the Goans Sports Club. He played for the club for a year and joined the Tata SC in 1956, under which he won the Nadkarni Cup (a football tournament organised by the Mumbai Football Association) in 1958.
  • Neville D’Souza represented Maharashtra in the Santosh Trophy as the team’s captain in 1954-55. It emerged as the winning team.
  • In 1958, Neville joined the Bombay-based Caltex Sports Club, and in the same year, the Caltex Sports Club became the first from Bombay to win a Rovers Cup. Neville’s crucial role in their team that year is considered one of the reasons for this victory. The final was against Mohammedan Sporting, which was defeated by a score of 3-2.
  • Neville D’Souza was part of the squad of the popular 1956 Melbourne Summer Olympics football team in which India created history by becoming the first Asian country to reach the semi-finals of Olympic football. This tournament became Neville’s best performance. He scored a hat-trick against Australia, defeating it by 4-2.

    Neville D'Souza (3rd from left in the top row) with the 1956 Melbourne Olympics Indian football team

    Neville D’Souza (3rd from left in the top row) with the 1956 Melbourne Olympics Indian football team 

  • India’s 1956 Olympic victory was unacceptable to Australians, so they called it an accident and challenged India for a re-match. India agreed to their request, and in the re-match defeated them by the score of 7-1, where again Neville’s play was outstanding. Recalling this, his co-player, S. S. Narayan, once remarked,

    …We won the re-match with Neville scoring twice. Television was not around when Neville was playing for India at the Olympics and nor were video recordings possible, so people have no way of knowing how good he was in the goalmouth.”

  • He became the top goalscorer of the 1956 Olympics tournament by scoring 4 goals in 3 games, a record that he jointly shared with Dimitar Milanov (Bulgaria) and Todor Veselinović (Yugoslavia). Neville also became the first Asian to score a hat-trick in the Olympics.
  • Neville D’Souza scored 11 goals for India in the international tournaments from 1956 to 1962.
  • In the 1958-59 Santosh Trophy tournament, his team, Bombay, reached the finals.
  • Reportedly, Neville did not continue football for a longer duration due to the corruption in the Indian Football Association. Due to his impeccable play and tactical mind, everyone expected him to be the next captain of the Indian Olympic team; however, he was altogether omitted from the 1960s Indian Olympic team.
  • The football association’s mindset during those days was in favour of players who belonged to poor backgrounds and were uneducated so that they could be happy in whatever little amount was offered to them. Neville’s educated and stable background became his weakness to grow further as an Indian footballer. He later joined a job in a multinational company to avoid the politics of the football association.
  • Neville retired as a player in 1963 and later served as a football coach for some years. He served as a national selector of the football talent under the All India Football Federation.
  • Neville D’Souza’s name falls in the squad that was part of the golden years (1950s-1960s) of Indian football when Syed Abdul Rahim was the coach of the Indian National team. The Bollywood film ‘Maidan’ is inspired by Rahim’s life. It was released on 11th April 2024, starring Ajay Devgn as Syed Abdul Rahim.

    Maidan film's poster

    Maidan film’s poster

  • In the first season of the Indian television quiz show ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC),’ a question for the prize money of Rs 1 crore was asked on Neville D’Souza’s 1956 Olympic record achievement by its host Amitabh Bachchan to Ramesh Chandra Dubey (contestant).
  • In 2008, the Mumbai Football Association started organizing a tournament named ‘U-17 Neville D’Souza Trophy’ for teenage boys from 17 potential districts of Maharashtra.
  • In 2018, Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA) established a football ground in Bandra’s Sports Complex in his memory. This ground was named ‘Neville D’Souza Football Turf’ or ‘Neville D’Souza Football Ground.’