Kolkata– Present day Indian football icons Sunil Chhetri and Bhaichung Bhutia led condolence messages as social media poured in their love and respect for former India captain Subimal ‘Chuni’ Goswami who breathed his last here on Thursday. He was 82.
“We’ve lost one of the leading lights of Indian sport today. Not too many can boast of being top-notch in two different sports. You played your part to the fullest, rest well, Chuni sir. Strength to the family,” India captain and record goalscorer Chhetri said in a tweet.
Former captain Bhutia, who has played for Mohun Bagan, a club Goswami played for all his life, said Indian football lost two of its biggest icons in Goswami and P.K. Banerjee who passed away last month.
“It’s a huge loss. This is a bad period for Indian football. Whenever there is talk about Indian football, you hear names of Chuni Goswami and P.K. Banerjee,” Bhutia told IANS.
“I haven’t had a lot of interaction with Chuni da but I did meet him when I was playing for Mohun Bagan. He always had a smile on his face and was a gentleman,” added Bhutia.
Goswami’s biggest achievement was captaining India to the 1962 Asian Games Gold medal when India scripted a historic 2-1 victory against South Korea (Korea Republic) in the final to land India its second gold medal in Asian Games history.
Goswami was an able all-rounder for the Bengal cricket team, leading them to the Ranji Trophy final in 1971/72.
He represented Bengal in 46 matches between 1962 and 1973 and scored 1,592 runs and also took 47 wickets.
“BCCI mourns the death of Subimal ‘Chuni’ Goswami, an all-rounder in the truest sense. He captained the Indian national football team & led them to gold in the 1962 Asian Games. He later played first-class cricket for Bengal & guided them to the final of Ranji Trophy in 1971-72,” BCCI said in a tweet.
“We’re deeply saddened by the passing of former player and club Legend Sri Subimal (Chuni) Goswami. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time. Rest in peace, Chuni Goswami,” Mohun Bagan’s official Twitter handle read.
“QEBFC deeply mourns the sad demise of the versatile international sports personality Subimal (Chuni) Goswami. He will be remembered for his unparalleled contribution as multi faceted sports person. May his soul rest in peace,” East Bengal said in a statement.
The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) also paid their tribute. “It is with great grief that we received the news of the demise of legend Chuni Goswami. This is actually a monumental loss for the sporting fraternity,” the CAB said.
“The flag of the association would be flown at half mast tomorrow (Friday) as a mark of respect to this legendary figure,” it added. (IANS)