The who's who of Indian sports galaxy, Bollywood stars and other celebrities were all there, but the ones who made the people stand on their feet and applaud were the unsung heroes and the legends of the past who were honoured in grand style at the gala Sahara India Sports Awards nite at the MMRDA grounds on Saturday night.
Former India footballer SHH Hamid and hockey star Manohar Topno weren't moved to tears themselves - the tales of their past left the audience teary-eyed.
Hamid, who once received appreciation for his contribution to sport from the then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, has been living in penury with no pension from the Railways.
"I'm eternally grateful and thankful for the recognition and help," said Hamid as he received the award and a cheque of Rs 5 lakh from Leander Paes and Rahul Dravid.
Topno, nicknamed Black Diamond for being a wall in the Indian hockey team's defence, talked about the days when his family lived under a roofless house and said he would never forget the gesture all his life.
The top legendary honour went to India's famous decathlete Gurbachan Singh Randhawa who made the finals of the 100m hurdles at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964. Sunil Gavaskar and Michael Ferreira gave him the trophy.
Hero of the Commonwealth Games, shooter Gagan Narang and 16-year-old gold-winning archer Deepika Kumari won the Special Outstanding Performance of CWG awards (male and female).
Chess champion Viswanathan Anand wasn't present as he is busy playing in China but he was chosen for the Most Memorable Moment of the Year award for successfully defending his World crown.
Sachin Tendulkar walked the stage to collect the Cricketer of the Year award. Receiving the trophy from his former captains Anil Kumble and Sourav Ganguly, Tendulkar recalled the achievements of the CWG medalists. The Cricketer of the Year (female) award was won by Mithali Raj.
The over three-hour long show had its usual dash of dance and fun, the surprise element being Sania Mirza, who not only compered but danced as well. Also dancing on the stage were Sreesanth and Jwala Gutta.