The most influential on the pitch itself, and none fit that description better than Subimal 'Chuni' Goswami, the Indian International Footballer and a first-class cricketer. The legend breathed his last at 82, on Thursday, April 30, at a nursing home near his residence in south Kolkata, after suffering from prolonged illness.
BCCI, Indian Football Team, politicians and named sportsmen mourned the legend's loss.
BCCI mourns the death of Subimal 'Chuni' Goswami, an all-rounder in the truest sense. He captained the Indian national football team & led to them to gold in the 1962 Asian Games. He later played first-class cricket for Bengal & guided them to the final of Ranji Trophy in 1971-72 pic.twitter.com/WgXhpoyLaB— BCCI (@BCCI) April 30, 2020
Goswami was one among few athletes capable of transcending sport to inspire future generations of footballers and cricketers, many of whom surely count him as an idol.
Goswami captained India in the 1962 Asian Games, winning gold for the country and another in the 1964 Asia Cup Soccer Tournament Silver Medal in Israel. At the time, he received various offers from other clubs as well but chose to play for Mohun Bagan, where he played as a striker till his retirement in 1968.
From 1956 to 1964, Goswami played 50 football matches for India, including Olympics, Asian Games, Asia Cup and Merdeka Cup, and captained the team for five seasons. In 1962, under his captaincy, India won Gold Medal in Asian Games and in 1964, India won Silver Medal in Tel Aviv and Merdeka Cup, earning distinction to his credits for the country.
Apart from his heroics in the football pitch, Goswami had also attained incredible accomplishment in cricket, debuting during 1962-63. After his retirement from Football, Goswami focused on playing Cricket and drove the Bengal cricket crew to Ranji Trophy last in 1972, and played just almost 46 five star cricket matches.
He has been an awardee for the Best Striker of Asia Award (1962), Arjuna award (1963), Padma Shri award (1983), Mohun Bagan Ratna (2005)
One of the pioneers of Bengali music in the early 90s, Kabir Suman, in his composition 'Ei shohor jaane amar prothom shob kichhu' (This city knows my every firsts), mentioned the legend, remembering him as one of his firsts.
'Prothom Khela laker dhaare
Manna, PK, Chunir r chobi
('My first game of football beside the Rabindra Sarobar Lake when photos of Sailen Manna, PK Banerjee and Chuni Goswami were treasured possessions').
Chuni Goswami's persona, both on and off the sports arena, was exemplary, as many of the sportsmen say, simply leaving behind a legacy which is difficult to emulate.