PK Banerjee – One of the greatest assets of Indian Football, dies at 83

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PK Banerjee death news – Indian Football lost one of its greatest players on Friday, 20 March when Pradip Kumar Banerjee succumbed to his prolonged illness at 12:40 PM in Kolkata. Recognized as one of the pioneers of Indian Football, PK Banerjee is often credited with putting India on the map of World Football.

pk banerjee death news

A phenomenal player, an outstanding goalscorer and later, a successful coach, PK Banerjee is an irreplaceable player in the history of Indian football. The list of his accomplishments is long enough to make an aspiring footballer’s eyes shine. FIFA conferred upon him its highest honor of the FIFA Order of Merit in 2004. The Government of India awarded him the Arjuna Award in 1961, making him the first footballer to win the prestigious award.

PK Banerjee death news

Born on June 23, 1936, in Jalpaiguri, West Bengal, Banerjee went on to play his debut match where he represented the Indian National Team in the year 1955. This was in the Quadrangular tournament in Dacca, when he was 19 years old. Subsequently, he also represented India in the Asian Games in Tokyo 1958, Jakarta 1962 and Bangkok 1966. Having played 36 games for the Indian National Team during 1955-1967, he scored 19 goals.

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Perhaps his greatest achievement which made him an indelible part in the history of Indian Football was when he led India to win the gold medal at the 1962 Asian Games in Jakarta. He also played as part of the team that reached the semi-finals in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics and also captained the Indian National Team at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome.

PK Banerjee death news

Apart from his contributions to national football, his club career was outstanding as well. He was associated with the Eastern Railways and led the club to win the Calcutta League in 1958. It was the first time since independence that a team outside the Big Three ( East Bengal, Mohammedan Sporting, and Mohun Bagan) won the title.

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Last but not the least phase of his footballing career came when he began his coaching career with East Bengal. He went on to coach Mohun Bagan and led the club to win IFA Shield, Rovers Cup, and Durand Cup in one season in 1977. He won 54 trophies as a coach, the most for any Indian.

PK Banerjee death news

Bhaichung Bhutia also said in an interview that “Pradip da was one of the best managers Indian Football had ever seen.” He said “Just being around him filled one with energy.” and also added that he played one of the best matches of his life, the 1997 Federation Cup semi-final under his guidance.

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