The Monday Profile: Anwar Uddin

Posted by on Sep 13, 2010 in The Monday Profile | 2 Comments

Few players can be as inxtricably linked with a club’s glory days than Anwar Uddin and Dagenham and Redbridge. Uddin joined the Daggers in 2004 and made 187 appearances as the Daggers transformed themselves from non-league powerhouse to League 1 upstarts in the space of little more than half a decade. That the Whitechapel born defender failed to emerge from the bench on the biggest red letter day of all was sad, but having spent a portion of last season on loan at Grays Athletic, he’ll have been delighted at least to be present on such a momentous afternoon.

Uddin is of course well known as a trailblazer among British footballers of South Asian origin, a group that is surely only ready to increase in size over the next few years. Whilst the likes of Harpal Singh, Zesh Rehman and Baichung Bhutia enjoyed bit part roles higher up the pyramid, Uddin’s contributions have been arguably more significant. Having participated in an FA Youth Cup triumph with West Ham, he initially struggled to impose himself, but found a natural home by the Thames Estuary. Barking and Dagenham may have a reputation as troubled borough, but the offensive headlines garnered by the BNP should not overshadow the fact that most of its residents are honest, working people from a cornucopia of ethnic backgrounds.

For it’s hard to think of a purer, more genuine product of the East End than Uddin. Brought up near to Brick Lane – in many ways, Britain’s Ellis Island – he is the sole representative of the Bangladeshi community to have played in the Football League but the fact that he has so far resisted overtures to play for the country of his heritage shows how much of a Londoner he is. His energetic, dominant style caused many a problem for lower league status and his appointment as Daggers captain confirmed his leadership qualities.

Now 28, he has finally closed the book on his unforgettable spell in East London and moved to the leafier pastures of Barnet. A dire start including a 7-0 thumping at Crewe will have provoked jitters but the Bees, seemingly forever scrapping these days and reliant on basket case clubs to occupy the bottom two slots in League 2, have bounced back to record 4 points from 9. At 28, it’s unquestionable that Uddin brings major experience to the table and he’ll be a canny recruit for the North Londoners as they attempt to keep their heads above water.

Rob Langham
Rob Langham is co-founder of the defiantly non-partisan football league blog, The Two Unfortunates, a website that occasionally strays into covering issues of wider importance. He's 50 and lives in Oxford while retaining his boyhood support of Reading FC. He tweets as @twounfortunates and has written for a number of websites and publications including The Inside Left, When Saturday Comes, In Bed with Maradona, Futbolgrad and The Blizzard as well as being nominated for the Football Supporters' Federation Blogger of the Year Award in 2013.


  1. Pigo
    September 14, 2010

    Hard to believe that Harpal Singh is still only 28… Bhutia's Wikipedia page makes for a good read, too.

  2. scarf
    September 15, 2010

    Harpal Singh is without doubt one of the worst players I have ever seen play for Stockport County. He had a bad injury at Leeds and it just destroyed him mentally – he would be fine until he came to a tackle, and then he just literally ran away (and not with the ball, either…). He was genuinely scared of contact and, in League 2, that was never going to work… His 45mins at left back during the lowest-point-ever 0-6 defeat away to Macclesfield on Boxing Day 2005 still makes me shudder.


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