BH CORRESPONDENT, Kolkata: Indian football icon PK Banerjee passed away on Friday at 2.08 pm at a private hospital in Kolkata. He was 83.
PK, as he was popularly known in Kolkata’s Maidan circles, was admitted to a private hospital since February 6 with severe chest infection. He also had respiratory issues, pneumonia and heart problems. A team of doctors was treating him.
PK’s condition started deteriorating for the past few days and he was put on ventilator support. Since Thursday, he was not responding to medicines. Doctors had told his family to expect the worst.
A revered figure in Indian football, Banerjee captained the Indian national team in what is considered its golden period. He won the gold medal in the 1962 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia. A striker par excellence, Banerjee was a proven leader both as a player as well as a coach. He was involved as a player and coach with both the Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan and East Bengal.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee expressed her condolence soon after the news came in light,
“I am deeply saddened by the departure of legendary footballer and coach Pradeep Kumar Banerjee (PK Banerjee). He passed away in Kolkata today at the age of 83. West Bengal government gave him the honor of ‘Bangabhushan’ in 2013. He also received numerous awards and awards including Arjuna Award, Padma Shri, FIFA Order of Merit, Asian Games Gold Medal. His departure caused irreparable loss to the sports world. I am the relatives and admirers of the late PK Banerjee. Sincere condolences,” She said.
Banerjee had represented India in all major international tournaments in the Sixties and Seventies and he was one of the country’s foremost football coaches. He played for India in the Olympics and the Asian Games.