Former India captain Chuni Goswami passes away at the age of 82
Former Indian football team captain Chuni Goswami breathed his last in Kolkata on Thursday after suffering from a cardiac arrest. The football maestro had captained the 1962 Asian Games gold-medal winning side as well as represented Bengal in first-class cricket tournaments.
Goswami had been undergoing treatment for various ailments. His family confirmed that Goswami was admitted to a city hospital earlier in the day and passed away at 5 pm.
Born on 15th January 1938 in Kishoreganj District of undivided Bengal (now in Bangladesh), Goswami joined the Mohun Bagan youth Team in 1946 at the age of eight. He was a part of the youth setup up to 1953, graduating to the Mohun Bagan senior team in 1954. He continued playing for Mohun Bagan till his retirement from the game in 1968. During his stint, Goswami captained the club for five seasons, between 1960 to 1964. He holds the distinction of leading his side to three successive Durand Cup triumphs as well as four successive Calcutta Football League triumphs.
Starting his international career in 1958, the striker was one of the biggest stars of the national team. Under his captaincy, the Indian Football team were triumphant at the 1962 Asian Games, while finishing runners-up at the Asian Cup in 1964. He went on to represent India in 50 international matches, including the Olympics, Asian Games, Asia Cup and Merdeka Cup, before retiring from the international stage at the ripe age of 27.
He is also considered amongst the holy trinity of the Indian team during this era, alongside Tulsidas Balaram and the recently deceased PK Banerjee. He was adjudged the best Striker in Asia in 1962, before receiving the Arjuna Award in 1963 and the Padma Shri in 1983.
As a cricketer, he represented Bengal in 46 first-class games between 1962 and 1973, scoring 1592 runs and scalping 47 wickets. Goswami was appointed the Bengal Ranji Trophy captain during the 1971-72 season and under his captaincy, the team reached the final, before losing against Bombay at the Brabourne Stadium.
The Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) mourns the passing of the legend.