Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri extended his heartfelt condolences to the family of PK Banerjee after the legendary footballer passed away on Friday. PK Banerjee, an 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 problems. Taking to Twitter, Chhetri stated that Banerjee was a pioneer in every sense of the word and his achievements will forever have a place in Indian footballing history.
I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr. PK Banerjee as well as to the entire Indian football fraternity.— Sunil Chhetri (@chetrisunil11) March 20, 2020
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.
Banerjee is survived by daughters Paula and Purna, who are renowned academicians, and younger brother Prasun Banerjee, who is a sitting Trinamool Congress MP. The 1962 Asian Games gold-medallist, whose best days as a striker coincided with Indian football's golden era, was suffering from respiratory problems due to pneumonia. He also had an underlying history of Parkinson's disease, dementia and heart problem.
He was on life support at a hospital here since March 2 and breathed his last at 12:40 pm, according to a family member. Born on June 23, 1936, in Moynaguri on the outskirts of Jalpaiguri in West Bengal, Banerjee's family relocated to his uncle's place in Jamshedpur before partition. He scored 65 international goals in 84 appearances for the national team.
Former India skipper Bhaichung Bhutia considers himself fortunate to have played under the tutelage of PK Banerjee, who died on Friday, and recalled how the iconic footballer-turned-coach had a huge role to play in one of his most memorable performances. Recalling one of the matches he played against Mohun Bagan, Bhutia said, "There was a lot of hype surrounding the match and Amal da made some unwanted statements but Pradip da did not let the pressure come into his players."