A football fan in Bangladesh who dreamt of playing professionally has instead taught himself an amazing set of skills balancing a football on his head.
Abdul Halim, 41, from a small village in Magura, south western Bangladesh, has spent his life practicing the most unusual skills balancing a football on his head while running, cycling, dancing, motor biking, roller-skating, swimming, playing, and even changing his jumper.
He said: ‘People used to say I was ‘good for nothing’. They thought I was wasting my time. It made me feel bad. But I’ve proved them wrong.
‘It started as a hobby which turned into a passion, and now it is my profession. It hasn’t really helped me or my family financially. It hasn’t made me rich but I do it for my country, I want to achieve something for my country.’
Abdul used to often play football when he was at school and in 1992 he saw some senior players do some impressive football tricks.
‘I was very young and I was really impressed by their technique’
Abdul kept practicing and managed to make a local name for himself. So much so, in 1995 he was invited on a Bangladeshi television show, called Ityadi.
And his career took off.
He was invited to attend numerous tournaments in Bangladesh and was sometimes able to charge 10,000 Taka (£100) an hour.
For ten years Abdul made a career for himself by showcasing his unique talents.
But by this year Abdul’s career is almost non-existnent. This year he’s earned nothing.
‘I’ve achieved glory for my country but it has not brought any monetary paybacks.’
Abdul was named in The Guinness Book of Records on October 22, 2011, after travelling 15.2 km with a football on his head.
And then on November 2, 2015, he was recognized again for balancing a football on his head while wearing roller-skates for a 100 meters in 27.66 seconds.
However, Abdul feels that no one in his country cares about his achievements and feels under valued.
‘People don’t know what a guinness record is. Only the educated people value it. And my people do not care.’
‘I now face severe money problems because I can’t earn anything. I want to set more records for my country but I do not have the support. It feels like no one cares.’
To add to his worries, Abdul’s oldest son, Suman Hossain, 16, is being treated for Perthes, which is a childhood disorder that affects the ball and socket joint of the hip and the father of two is struggling to pay for the treatment.
He added: ‘My family is definitely proud of me. But they’re worried about my future as we have no fixed income.’
‘My focus switches daily between finding new shows and my son’s treatment. I took him to India for treatment and now he needs more surgery which will be one million taka (£10,000).’
However, Abdul is determined to succeed.
He said: ‘I hope my government hear of my achievements and award me accordingly. That would be nice.
‘I dream to do a world tour and perform on stage to thousands of people. I believe my dream will come true one day. If only someone will support me.’