The man who inspired India to the zenith of its footballing glory, Subimal Goswami, commonly known as Chuni Goswami passed away in Kolkota on Thursday after a prolonged illness. 82-year-old Goswami was suffering from sugar, prostate, and nerve problems and breathed his last after a cardiac arrest at 5 pm. Goswami was an Indian International footballer as well as an exceptional cricketer, representing Bengal in first-class Cricket tournaments. 


In 1946, he joined the Mohun Bagan Junior team at the age of 8 years and was part of the junior squad till 1954. Eventually, he progressed to the senior team and never left the club, despite the numerous offers from other clubs, until his retirement in 1968. He scored 200 goals for the club and won three Santosh Trophy titles for the Bengal Team.

Considered one of the finest strikers to have ever played for India, the legend has played 36 International matches and was a captain in 16. Also, he has 13 international goals to his credit. He started his International football career in 1956 and went on to represent India at the Olympics, Asian Games, Asia Cup, and Merdeka Cup. 


The high point of his International football career was when he captained a group of outstanding players to the Asian Games gold medal in 1962 and Silver in the 1964 Asia Cup in Tel Aviv and the Merdeka Cup. “I always called him captain. I knew him since the days when we played for the Calcutta University team, where he was also the captain. There was a commanding thing about him that made him the natural choice as a captain,” said Arun Ghosh, the great defender of the Indian team that triumphed in Jakarta.


Goswami was not only a footballer but also a first-class Cricketer and made his debut in the Ranji Trophy during the 1962-1963 season. After retiring from football at the age of 27, Goswami fully focussed on playing cricket. He was the captain of the Bengal Cricket team leading them to a 1972 Ranji Trophy final. 


He was conferred with various awards for his sporting achievements-Arjuna Award (1963), Best Striker of Asia Award (1962), Padma Shri award (1983), Mohun Bagna Ratna (2005)


Goswami’s versatility was his strength and he was the first director of the TATA Football Academy in Jamshedpur. His legacy for his contribution towards Indian football and the overall sporting environment will always be unsurpassable.

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