Legendary footballer P K Banerjee died on Friday (20 March) at a Kolkata hospital after battling a chest infection for a long time, family sources said. He was 83.
He was on ventilator support in the intensive care unit of Medica Superspecialty Hospital for more than two weeks. Banerjee, who was admitted in the hospital on 2 March, breathed his last at 12.40 pm, according to a family member.
A two-time Olympian and the only surviving goal-scorer of India's 1962 Asian Games gold medal winning team. He was not only instrumental in helping India win gold, he formed a deadly partnership with Chuni Goswami and Tulsidas Balaram.
Playing predominantly as a centre forward and Right Winger Banerjee scored 65 goals in 84 games for the Indian national football team.
Banerjee is remembered for his famous equaliser against formidable France in the 1960 summer Olympics and his exploits at the 1962 Asian Games where India won gold to his man-management skills as coach of traditional giants East Bengal, Mohun Bagan and the national team; Banerjee leaves behind a legacy Indian football can never forget.
He was picked for the 1956 Melbourne Olympics where he played a key role in their 4-2 win over Australia in the quarterfinals with two assists. It remains one of India's finest performances as they crashed out of the competition after losing to Yugoslavia in the semi-final and Bulgaria in the third-place tie.
Subsequently as a manager of Mohun Bagan his team famously held Pele led New York Cosmos to a 2-2 draw in an exhibition match.
Banerjee was awarded the Arjuna Award in 1961 and Padma Shri in 1990. FIFA awarded him the Centennial Order of Merit in 2004.
With inputs from IANS
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