Personal tribute to a legendary sportsman

 
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Tribute by Br Mohamed Khaku of Allentown, USA

We are mourning for the legendary servant of our community Gulamabbas Janmohamed (Tommy Uncle) of Ahlulbayt (A.S.) and we pray that Allah (SWT) grant him the best of blessings and grace. Our deepest sympathy and condolences to the family and friends at this difficult time.

Tommy will dearly be missed. We will never be able to fill the vacuum he has left behind. I am filled with a deep sense of sorrow and grief. Alhaj Tommy Uncle was a devoted, selfless and sincere community worker and a great soccer and cricket player.

Marhum’s memory will echo for years to come in the minds of many who knew him, and he left magnificent and indelible footprints on the path of the history of our community.

Bringing joy to many

Tommy Uncle was a kind man and a true gentleman; he always put others before himself. He was a great tennis, cricket, volleyball and soccer player. He did well in all sports, but cricket was his game. He was the pillar of our community in Mombasa and Stanmore. He was a fantastic man who loved everyone and brought joy to many with his humour. When someone you love becomes a memory, that memory becomes a treasure.

The sixties and seventies saw a series of very interesting and exciting cricket tournaments played at the Coast with great competition between clubs such as Mombasa Sports, Coast Gymkhana, Hatim Karimjees Sports club, Goan Institute, Eaglets Aga Khan Sport Club and of course the Jaffery Sport Club. I remember many good cricketers during this era with the likes of Yusuf Karim, Gulam Khaku, Sultan, Sikandar and Jawad Nurmohammed, Pyarali Merali, Chandrakant Patel, Kishore Lakhani, Mehdi Karachiwalla, John Dsouza, Hussein Story, Mahmood Khaki and many others.

I still have fond memories and the joy those cricketers brought to my heart. Mombasa produced some of the finest tennis and cricketers during this era but unfortunately due to the sudden migration of many Asians from Kenya the game of cricket and tennis declined.

A special place in history

Tommy Uncle occupies a special place in history as a role model for many youths like me, who made our community proud in the sports arena for many decades.

I was privileged to play cricket and soccer with Tommy Uncle where during the cricket practice we were required to pick up balls and never got the opportunity to ball or bat – and if we ever did get one it would be just about be getting dark! But I loved to play with the adults.

Playing soccer I was the youngest and privileged to play with the elders such as Kasaruyo, Aloo, Pawni (Moh’d Taki), Mohammedali Rashid, Gulubha, Shauki AP and many others. And how can I forget the rivalry between the Eaglets and the Jaffery Sport Club?

A fitting tribute

It would be a fitting tribute if an award were to be created in his honour by Jaffery Sport Club to commemorate his contribution to sports in Mombasa.

I was also fortunate and privileged to work closely with Tommy during my fundraising trip to London for Al Ahad Islamic Center.

We thank Allah for his life of inspirational service to our community. May Allah rest his soul amongst the 14 Masumeen (a.s.) and to give us tawfeeq to serve in His cause. Ameen.

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