Kolkata: Legendary former India footballer Chuni Goswami, who captained the 1962 Asian Games gold-winning team, died on Thursday after suffering a cardiac arrest.
The iconic sportsperson, who also played first-class cricket for Bengal, was 82 and breathed his last at a hospital here. He is survived by his wife Basanti and son Sudipto.
Another legendary Indian Footballer and a fine first class cricketer has left us today. Rest in eternal peace Shri. Chuni Goswami. My heartfelt condolences to his bereaved family.#ChuniGoswami #RIPLegend #IndianFootball @IndianFootball pic.twitter.com/UT70VJsfBj
— Praful Patel (@praful_patel) April 30, 2020
Goswami was suffering from underlying ailments, including sugar, prostrate, and nerve problems.
Goswami played 50 matches for India as a footballer from 1956 to 1964. His 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 made his international debut against Burma (now Myanmar) in the Asian Games in Tokyo in 1958 and scored as India won 3-2.
He went on to represent India in 36 official international matches, captaining in 16 of them, and netting 13 goals.
Besides two editions of the Asian Games, Goswami was also part of India’s Olympic squad in the Rome Olympics in 1960.
He also captained India to the final of the AFC Asian Cup in Tel Aviv in 1964 and was part of India’s campaign in the pre-Olympic qualification in 1959 (in Kabul), 1960 (in Kolkata and Jakarta), 1963 (in Colombo as captain), and in 1964 in (Tehran and Calcutta).
He also played in the Merdeka Cup in Kuala Lumpur in 1961, and 1964 (as captain).
Goswami won the Arjuna Award in 1963 and was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri Award in 1983.
A one-club man Goswami always played for Mohun Bagan from 1954 to 1968. At the domestic level, Goswami was part of the Bengal’s triumphant Santosh Trophy squad thrice – in 1955, 1958, and in 1959.
At the club level, he represented Mohun Bagan for 15 consecutive years – from 1954 to 1968, and scored 200 goals for the Green and Maroons including 145 in the Calcutta Football League, 25 goals in the IFA Shield, 18 goals in the Durand Cup, 11 goals in the Rovers Cup and 1 goal in the Dr. HK Mookerjee Shield.
He helped Bagan win the Calcutta Football League nine times, the IFA Shield and the Durand Cupfive times each, the Rovers Cup thrice, the Dr. HK Mookerjee Shield five times, Babu Kuer Singh Shield thrice, and the Ananda Bazar Centenary Trophy once. He won 14 trophies for Mohun
As a cricketer, he represented Bengal in 46 first-class games between 1962 and 1973 and even captained Bengal in 1968-69 season. He also played for East Zone in the Duleep Trophy.
His first-class career as a cricketer ended after 46 matches and he scored 1,592 runs, including a century.
He also served the Tata Football Academy as its Director and was appointed the Sheriff of Kolkata in 2005.
In the same year, he was awarded the Mohun Bagan Ratna and was bestowed the Banga Bibhusan in 2013.
The Indian postal department also honoured Goswami with a commemorative stamp on his 82nd birthday earlier this year.
He also captained Calcutta University in football and cricket in the same year in his college days.