BH CORRESPONDENT, Kolkata: Former India football captain Chuni Goswami, 82, passed away in Kolkata on Thursday at 5 pm after a prolonged illness. The captain of the 1962 Asian Games gold-medal winning team, Goswami had also represented Bengal in first-class cricket.
For the last few months, Goswami was suffering from underlying ailments with sugar, prostrate and nerve problems. His family confirmed that Goswami was admitted to a city hospital on Jodhpur Park at around 1.30 pm today after he complained of breathing problems. However, he breathed his last at 5 pm today after a cardiac arrest. He is survived by his wife Basanti and son Sudipto.
Under his captaincy, the Indian football team won gold at the 1962 Asian Games, finished runner-up at the Asian Cup in 1964 and narrowly lost to Burma in Mardeka football six months later. In club football, Goswami always played for Mohun Bagan. In his college days, he captained Calcutta University in both football and cricket in the same year.
Legendary footballer Shyam Thapa said, “I can’t believe this news. He had won gold in the Asian Games. He scored 13 goals for India. In 1968, he took retirement from football. I am extremely sad that I will not be able to join his funeral. He also played cricket for Bengal in Santosh Trophy.”
Bidesh Basu, former footballer, said, “I believe he was one of the best players football we ever had. He mesmerized everyone with his skills. The sudden demise of so many legends like Rishi Kapoor, Ifrfan Khan and Goswami is very saddening.
Goswami’s son Sudipto said that his father was supposed to come for regular check-up. “But we brought him at the hospital a day before as he was complaining of breathing problems. He was having a kidney problem, too, due to high blood pressure. Suddenly after coming here, he had a convulsion and passed away due to a cardiac arrest.”
Minister Arup Biswas along with many more dignitaries reached the hospital soon after getting the news of the legendary footballer’s demise. Biswas said that he was instructed by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee to make sure that all arrangements are done for Goswami’s last rites.
The chief minister has expressed her condolences too. She said Goswami was a real star and a football icon. She also said he was among the greatest players that Indian football has ever seen. “He was a versatile personality who brought many laurels to the country and to Bengal. While his demise is a monumental loss to the world of sports & particularly football, Bengal, with a great passion for the sport has lost one of her greatest sons,” Mamata posted on Twitter.
While his demise is a monumental loss to the world of sports & particularly football, Bengal, with a great passion for the sport has lost one of her greatest sons. My deepest condolences to Chuni Goswami’s family, friends & innumerable fans. May his soul rest in peace. (2/2)
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) April 30, 2020
BCCI mourns the death of Subimal ‘Chuni’ Goswami, an all-rounder in the truest sense. He captained the Indian national football team & led to 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 pic.twitter.com/WgXhpoyLaB
— BCCI (@BCCI) April 30, 2020
Goswami, who joined Mohun Bagan at the age of 8 and continued till he retired, also remembered the legend.
We’re deeply saddened by the passing of former player and club Legend Sri Subimal (Chuni) Goswami, aged 83.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.
Rest in peace, Chuni Goswami. pic.twitter.com/H7yERNYNLN
— Mohun Bagan (@Mohun_Bagan) April 30, 2020