The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly came forward and paid tribute to the late football legend PK Banerjee, who passed away on Friday at the age of 83 years. 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 problems. He was on ventilator support in the intensive care unit for more than two weeks now. He was hospitalized on February 7.
Taking to the micro-blogging site, Ganguly wrote that he has lost a very dear person whom he loved and respected enormously. The former Indian skipper also mentioned that PK Banerjee has had so much influence in his career when he was 18-years old. The southpaw also added that the late footballer's positivity was infectious.
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 vry dear persons ths week https://t.co/unRE125C9w— Sourav Ganguly (@SGanguly99) March 20, 2020
Besides winning the gold medal at the Jakarta Asian Games in 1992, Banerjee led India in the 1960 Rome Olympics, where he scored the equalizer against a formidable French team in a 1-1 draw. Before that, Banerjee represented India in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics and played a key role in their 4-2 win over Australia in the quarterfinals. Banerjee's contribution to Indian football was duly recognized by the world governing body FIFA that awarded him the Centennial Order of Merit in 2004.
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.