New Delhi, March 20 (IANS) Former cricketer Sourav Ganguly expressed condolences on the demise of Indian football legend P.K. Banerjee, who passed away on Friday after prolonged illness.
Taking to Twitter, BCCI president Ganguly said he had enormous love and respect for Banerjee as the latter had a great influence on his career when he was an 18-year-old boy.
“Lost a very dear person today…someone who I loved and respected enormously…someone who had so much influence in my career when I was a 18 year old boy…his positivity was infectious…may his soul rest in peace…lost two very dear persons this week,” tweeted Ganguly.
Fondly referred to as P.K. Banerjee by his vast legion of fans, the 83-year-old breathed his last at a private hospital in Kolkata at 12.40 p.m., according to a family member.
A two-time Olympian and the only surviving goal-scorer of India's 1962 Asian Games gold medal winning team, Banerjee is survived by two daughters — Paula and Pixie.
The Asian Games gold medallist was suffering from sepsis and multi-organ failure due to pneumonia on a background of Parkinson's disease, dementia and heart ailments.
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.