It was an end of an era as legendary Indian footballer Chuni Goswami passed away on Thursday due to a prolonged illness at the age of 82 in a hospital in Kolkata. Known for his ball control and dribbling skills – the lean, wiry-built footballer from Kishoreganj district of undivided Bengal (now Bangladesh), could pack a punch with his left foot. Also Read - Super League Update: UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin Says, Players Participating in Breakaway League Will be Banned From Euros, World Cup'
In his prime, he was capable of penetrating any defense with his speed and skill. After joining Mohun Bagan in 1954, he soon caught the eye with his domestic performances and that earned him a maiden national call-up in 1956. In his international career spanning eight years, he scored 13 goals in 36 games before retiring in 1964. Also Read - Super League: Rio Ferdinand Embarrassed as Manchester United is a Part of it, Calls it 'War on Football'
During his illustrious international career, he also represented India in the 1960 Olympics, where the side lost to a star-studded Hungarian side. A couple of years after the Olympics disappointment, he led India to a Gold medal in 1962 Asian Games. He found the back of the net on three occasions in the tournament, which included a brace in the semis against South Vietnam. Also Read - Lionel Messi Treated Like a Celebrity by Barcelona Teammates After Copa Del Rey Win is Unmissable | WATCH VIDEO
Within the next couple of years, he retired from international football, but not before India emerged runner-up in the Asian Cup in 1964. Goswami scored 200 goals for Mohun Bagan, the only club he played for in his club football career spanning 15 years.
Goswami was so popular that long after he had retired, fans had left a Mohun Bagan league game to go and watch him play an office league match as they had heard so much about him.
The legendary forward was awarded the Arjuna award in 1963 which was followed by the prestigious Padma Shri award in 1983.
Goswami’s death comes a little over a month after the death of another former India football legend PK Banerjee.
Not just football, he played cricket as well and led the Bengal side in Ranji Trophy in 1972 to the final, where he scored 0 and five against Bombay, as they lost the match by 246 runs. He also played for East Zone in Duleep trophy.
As a first-class cricketer, he played 46 matches and amassed 1592 runs which include a ton.
Later, he worked in a national bank, before becoming the first director at the reputed Tata Football Academy in Jamshedpur in 1986.
In honour of the football icon, the postal department of India issued a stamp on January 15, this year, when he turned 82.
His loss is bound to leave a big void in Indian football.