Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri on Friday expressed his deep condolences on the demise of former India footballer Pradip Kumar Banerjee.
Banerjee breathed his last at a private hospital in Kolkata after a prolonged illness on March 20. He was 83.
"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," Chhetri tweeted.
The former Indian captain was an integral part of India's gold medal-winning team in the 1962 Asian Games and even scored in the final against South Korea as India fought against all odds to script a historic 2-1 triumph in Jakarta.
He represented India in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics and played a pivotal role in the 4-2 victory against Australia in the quarter-finals where India eventually finish fourth.
Furthermore, he was also the skipper of the national side in the 1960 Rome Olympics and scored the equaliser against France to help India register a 1-1 draw.
He represented India in 36 official matches, wearing the captain's armband in six of them. In the process, he netted 19 goals for the country.
He was also the first footballer to receive the Arjuna Award (in 1961) and was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri Award in 1990.
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