Sunderlal Ramdan (Gron) …. Our Final Farewell

Sunderlal Ramdan (Gron)

The sporting fraternity in the city has sustained a grievous loss with the sudden passing the legendary soccer referee Sunderlal (Gron) Ramdan on Friday March 2, 2018. The Sports Veterans’ Association had, in 2015, bestowed upon him the Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedicated commitment towards the welfare of sport in the province.
Ramdan had attained a position of prestige, respect and influence in soccer refereeing. He had a love of people and an immense respect for the worth and dignity of the individual. And in his death, the community has lost one of its principal leaders.
He commenced with his soccer career in 1967 with Mt Partridge FC in the Edendale Football Association. He, thereafter, joined Hillview FC in the senior division in 1973. The club was affiliated to the Northdale Football Association.
Due to the influence of the late Solly Moosa, Daddy Moodley and Joe Moses, Ramdan decided to pursue a career to become a soccer referee. When the Northern Natal Referees’ Board was formed, he joined an elite panel of greats, which included the likes of the Late Daddy Joseph, John Paul, Rashid Ballim and Flynn Chetty and later Dayalan Moodley, Ramlal Jackpersad, Steven Pillay, Vincent Pillay and Kenny Pillay.
Ramdan was soon regarded as a referee with a high level of skill, impressive basics and good vision. He had incredible potential and always led from the front. Having a good soccer brain, he was always at the right spot at the right time.
Moosa and Moses recognised his potential and as a consequence provided him with the opportunity to referee professional matches in the Federation Professional League. Ramdan’s honest interpretation of the laws of the game was known and respected throughout the soccer fraternity in the country.
In 1976, he was honoured to referee the Natal Cup Final between Hillview and Fountain Lads. He also officiated in three cup finals of the professional league. His memorable match in professional soccer was the one between Real Taj FC and Bosmont Chelsea FC from Johannesburg. The epic clash ended 3-3. Ramdan received full praise for the immaculate manner in which he controlled that tense duel.
Ramdan served, with distinction, on a number of panels. These included the South African Referees’ Association, the Northern Natal Referees’ Board and the South African Football Association Natal Midlands. He bid his final farewell on Sunday March 4, 2018 at the Hillview Grounds, which, ironically, was the venue where he was tasked to blow the whistle at the funeral procession of the Late Solly Moosa.
Ramdan distinguished himself by his dedication and contribution to the welfare of his community. His spirit of humanity, of devotion to the good of all, carried over into all fields of endeavour, including charitable and philanthropic activities. His passing leaves a void in our hearts and in the community that will be difficult to fill. We extend our deepest sympathies to his bereaved wife, Malaga, and his family.

Sports Veteran Association

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