Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Chhetri Mourn Death Of Indian Football Legend PK Banerjee
Sports icons like Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Chhetri and Bhaichung Bhutia offered their condolences on the death of Indian football legend PK Banerjee.
Sachin Tendulkar offered his condolence on death of PK Banerjee
Sunil Chhetri and Bhaichung Bhutia paid heartfelt tribute
PK Banerjee passed away on Friday afternoon after a prolonged illness
Modern day sports icons Sachin Tendulkar and Sunil Chhetri have offered their condolences on the death of former India football captain, coach and technical director Pradip Kumar Banerjee who passed away on Friday afternoon. Fondly referred to as PK Banerjee by his vast legion of fans, Banerjee breathed his last at a private hospital in Kolkata after a prolonged illness. He was 83. "Heartfelt condolences on the passing of the great Indian footballer PK Banerjee! Have fond memories of meeting him on a few occasions and the positivity he spread. May his soul Rest in Peace," tweeted Tendulkar.
Heartfelt condolences on the passing of the great Indian footballer PK Banerjee!— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) March 20, 2020
Have fond memories of meeting him on a few occasions and the positivity he spread.
May his soul Rest In Peace! pic.twitter.com/NqXO2A91wc
Offering his condolences, Chhetri wrote: "I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr. PK Banerjee as well as to the entire Indian football fraternity. He was a pioneer in every sense of the word, and his achievements will forever have a place in Indian footballing history. Rest in peace."
I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr. PK Banerjee as well as to the entire Indian football fraternity.— Sunil Chhetri (@chetrisunil11) March 20, 2020
He was a pioneer in every sense of the word, and his achievements will forever have a place in Indian footballing history. Rest in peace.
Meanwhile, former India captain Bhaichung Bhutia termed Banerjee a "father figure" and said he played one of his best matches under his coaching. "He was a great human being. A very happy soul and a father figure to me," Bhutia told IANS.
"I was fortunate to play one of my greatest matches under him. It is a big loss to Indian football. He is one of the greatest footballers and coaches India has ever seen," said Bhutia.
Former India defender Subrata Bhattacharya said Banerjee taught them how to play with Pele and made them the stars they went on to be.
"He taught us what no one ever could. As a player and coach, Pradip da's contribution to Indian football can never be matched and I don't need to say this," Mohun Bagan legend Bhattacharya told IANS.
Banerjee represented India in 36 official matches, wearing the captain's armband in six of them. In the process, he scored 19 official goals for the country.
He was also the first Indian footballer to receive the Arjuna Award (in 1961), and was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri Award in 1990. Banerjee was also bestowed with the FIFA Fairplay Award (in 1990), and the FIFA Centennial Order of Merit in 2004.