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Football Fraternity pays emotional tribute to India’s footballing legend

Highlights

  • One of India's brightest footballers, PK Banerjee breathed his last on Friday.
  • He was 83.
  • Big names from football fraternity paid an emotional homage to the legendary footballer.

India, on Friday, lost one of its brightest football player, coach and Technical Director in Pradip Kumar Banerjee who passed away at a private hospital in Kolkata. Fondly known as PK Banerjee, he was suffering prolonged illness. He was 83.

The All India Football Federation (AIFF), the football fraternity as well as a vast legion of fans condoled the passing away of the country’s footballing legend.

Amongst the foremost was the current India captain Sunil Chhetri. The 35-year-old hailed Banerjee as the pioneer of India’s football history.

“I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr PK Banerjee as well as to the entire Indian football fraternity. He was a pioneer in every sense of the word, and his achievements will forever have a place in Indian footballing history. Rest in peace,” Chhetri tweeted.

His words were echoed by the AIFF president Praful Patel.”It’s sad to hear that Pradip-da, one of India’s Greatest Footballers, is no more. His contribution to Indian Football will never be forgotten. I share the grief,” he said in a statement.

“He will stay synonymous with the golden generation of Indian Football. Pradip-da, you will remain alive in our hearts,” he added.

Kiren Rijiju also paid condolences to the legend.

The Legend of PK Banerjee

PK Banerjee was at the core of India’s golden generation in the 1960s. He skippered the team that won a gold medal at the 1962 Asian Games. He led from the front in the final against South Korea, scoring a goal to help India fight against all odds and script a historic 2-1 victory in Jakarta.

Banerjee also represented India at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics where he played a critical role in the 4-2 triumph over Australia in the quarter-finals with India eventually finishing fourth.

He also led the national side in the 1960 Rome Olympics and scored the all-important equaliser against France to guide India to a 1-1 draw.

In all, Banerjee represented India on 36 occasions, of which he was the captain 6 times. In the process, he amassed 19 goals for the country.

The Kolkata-based footballer was the first footballer to be bestowed with the Arjuna Award (in 1961)as well as the prestigious Padma Shri Award in 1990. Banerjee also received the FIFA Fair Play Award in 1990 apart from the 2004 FIFA Centennial Order of Merit.

Tributes to PK Banerjee

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