Chuni Goswami: the first poster boy in Indian football and a complete athlete.

Chuni Goswami is everything an athlete looks for.

Few people can claim to be blessed with the natural and extensive talent that has put him on a par with the pantheons of India’s greatest sports icons.

A former Indian captain known as Chuni Goswami, died of a cardiac arrest in Calcutta, West Bengal on Thursday at the age of 82.

A six-legged lithium footballer, the last Indian soccer captain to win a gold medal an Olympic athlete and an excellent first class cricket captain named in the memoirs of Sir Gary Sobers, Subimal Goswami or Chuni: this is what the sport dreams of.

If P.K. Banerjee was for the masses, then Goswami belonged to the class.

As the blue University of Calcutta (which played both cricket and football), Goswami was the counterpart to the widespread perception of Indian athletes and their rags with a rich history.

Actually, it was just the opposite. He was born into an upper middle class family and lived his entire life in the prosperous Jodhpur Park in southern Calcutta. He had a university education, he was obvious and, if you look at the history of Indian football, perhaps the greatest amateur footballer.

In the sixties he was the middle front (or right wing), but he had an impeccable sense of positioning.

Goswami’s performance in international football

Goswami’s greatest achievement was India’s Asian gold medal victory in 1962, when India achieved a historic 2-1 victory over South Korea (Korean Republic) in the finals and won the second gold medal in Asian history.

After his debut in 1958, Goswami represented India in 36 official international matches and scored 13 goals in 16. Goswami received the Arjuna Prize in 1963 and the prestigious Padma Sri Prize in 1983.

His evasive manoeuvre took place on a different plane – both outside and inside – and he was able to shock the opponent with sudden sprints from the edge of the 18-yard box.

He played in the hole behind Tulcidas Balaram, who was the striker. At a time when there was no concept of a false 9 in football, Goswami played the role of the late S.A. Rahim.

My friend Chuny had everything. Shooting, dribbling, powerful head, sprinting and positional sense, the late PC Banerjee spoke many times in various forums.

Legendary footballer and Olympian Chuni Goswami at the opening of the Asian Sports Arena in Calcutta on 12. July 2017. It was his greatness that led him to give up football at the age of 30 and then pursue his other passion, cricket. FILE PHOTO ITP

The addition of another legend was the biggest he could get.

In the field they were an inseparable couple, but so different from each other.

With his good looks and charm, Goswami was a big hit in Mumbai for Mohun Baghan at the Cup of Rovers, a club that was important to him until his last day.

Home Career Goswami

At home Goswami was a member of the triumphant Santosha Bengal Trophy team three times – in 1955, 1958 and 1959. During his club career, he represented Mohun Bagan for 15 consecutive years, from 1954 to 1968.

Over the years he has helped Bagan win the Calcutta Football League nine times, the ELISA Shield and Duran Cup five times, the Rovers Cup three times, the Dr HK Mukherjee Shield five times, the Babu Quer Singh Shield three times and the Ananda Bazaar 100th Anniversary Cup once. He won 14 trophies for Moon Bagan as captain.

He came to her at the age of 16 and remained a Marine forever.

It was because of his loyalty that he played club cricket for Mohun Bagan and didn’t know the other team.

Legend has it that in 196 in Mumbai two special fans met Goswami when he announced his international retirement in Mumbai and asked him to change his mind.

These two gentlemen were Dilip Kumar and Prahn, two Bollywood icons who wouldn’t have missed a game with Cooperje if he had played against Goswami.

It was his greatness that led him to give up football at the age of 30 and pursue his other passion, cricket. And Captain Bengal took part in the last round at Ranji in 1972.

Famous journalist Pradeep Vijaykar once captured how Goswami will rejoice at the spectators at Brauburn Stadium juggling a cricket ball during the breaks in the Ranji finals.

Goswami’s cricket career

He represented Bengal in the Rangie Trophy and was even captain of Bengal in the 1968-69 season. During his distinguished cricket career, he played 46 games and collected 1,592 runs.

In a 1967 tour match, he scored eight goals for the joint zone team against Gary Sobers of the West Indies.

<a href=Prime Minister Chuni Goswami’ class=’wp-image-89777′ data-lazy-sizes='(max-width: 620px) 100vw, 620px’ data-lazy-src=’’ data-lazy-srcset=’ 620w,×225.jpeg 300w,×55.jpeg 74w,×83.jpeg 111w,×161.jpeg 215w’ src=’data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg%20xmlns=’’%20viewBox=’0%200%200%200’%3E%3C/svg%3E’> Narendra Maudie shakes hands with legendary footballer Chuni Goswami at the unveiling of a commemorative stamp for the 2014 world cup in New Delhi, 12-12 December 2009. June 2014. Image of the : PTI

In that match, Goswami stepped back 25 yards to make a catch that earned praise from Sobers, who described it as excellent by a cricketer from the subcontinent.

Sober, they didn’t know I was an international football player. 25 meters down is nothing, Goswami told his friends in a joke.

He did not work as a coach at either club or national level, although Russian fashion eventually chose the Tata Academy (TFA) as the first director of India’s largest football kindergarten.

He became sheriff of Calcutta, wrote informative columns on Indian football for a local newspaper, played tennis for South Club veterans and loved his scotch.

He was in his own class – incomparable – and lived a life that will always be celebrated for being one of the greatest Indians.

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