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Tributes pour in for Chuni Goswami- ‘India’s first football superstar’

Chuni Goswami captained India to the Asian Games gold medal in 1962 and a silver in the 1964 Asia Cup in Israel, both of which remain the country's best performances in the continental showpieces till date.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: May 1, 2020 8:09:29 am
(Source: Twitter/IndianFootball)

From cricketing icons Sunil Gavaskar to India football skipper Sunil Chhetri, the Indian sports fraternity stood united in grief on the demise of legendary footballer Chuni Goswami. The 82-year-old who was battling prolonged illness for a significant period of time on Thursday breathed his last after suffering a cardiac arrest.

“Today is a truly depressing day. First Rishi (Kapoor) and now Chuni da have left us. Both champions and legends in their craft. The world will be poorer for their departure to the Heavens. RIP,” Gavaskar was quoted as saying by PTI.

Goswami led India in the 1962 and 64 Asian Games, winning gold in the former and finishing second in the latter. Apart from his heroics in the football pitch, the legendary sports figure had also fetched great success in cricket.

Remembering his contribution to the sport, BCCI in a tweet paid tribute to Goswami. “BCCI mourns the death of Subimal ‘Chuni’ Goswami, an all-rounder in the truest sense,” the Indian cricket governing body tweeted.

Meanwhile, President Ramnath Kovind and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee also paid their tribute to Goswami.

In football, he captained India to the Asian Games gold medal in 1962 and a silver in the 1964 Asia Cup in Israel, both of which remain the country’s best performances in the continental showpieces till date.

Former India footballers Bhaichung Bhutia and I M Vijayan also paid homage to Goswami. “It is a very sad day for Indian football. Indian football has lost a genius. He wad no doubt one of the greatest ever Indian footballer. He and PK Banerjee were the biggest players we had known in our playing days,” said Vijayan.

Bhutia called him the first superstar of Indian football. “It’s a big loss for Indian football in two-three months. First PK Banerjee (who died on March 20) and now Chuni Goswami. He was a true sporting icon. He was the first superstar of Indian football.”

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