Several teammates of the former India international and Mohun Bagan players expressed their condolences.
Former India international and Mohun Bagan player Manitombi Singh breathed his last on Saturday night in Imphal, Manipur. He was battling a prolonged illness.
Only 39-years-old at the time of his passing, Manitombi Singh is survived by his wife and 8-year-old son. His last rites were performed on Sunday near his home at Achanbigei village, about eight kilometres from the capital city of Manipur. Meanwhile, Renedy Singh, who was Manitombi’s long-time friend and former teammate at both Mohun Bagan and the Indian national team, revealed that he along with current Blue Tigers captain Sunil Chhetri are trying to collect funds so as to help his family during these difficult times.
“We have played together at Mohun Bagan and in the national team and I have lots of memories with him. It’s very sad that he passed away so young and has a non-working wife and little son apart from his parents. He was admitted to the hospital for a long time, so he must have spent a good amount of money there as well.
“Even Sunil (Chhetri) called me in the morning. We all played together at Mohun Bagan and he was the captain. It’s our responsibility to stand by his family in this difficult time,” Renedy Singh said, as quoted by The Times of India.
“We discussed about contributing to his cause and are trying to arrange money through players and FPAI now because we can’t play any match in his memory to raise money right now. We can do that later when things normalize.”
“Don’t know what he was suffering from exactly, but mentally he was always there in football, training young boys in the academies. Physically he looked weak for the last couple of years,” the President of FPAI further added.
Mohun Bagan, Manitombi Singh’s former club, paid a tribute to their former skipper on Twitter. “Mohun Bagan family is deeply saddened by the untimely demise of former club captain Manitombi Singh. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time. Rest in peace, Manitombi Singh,” the club wrote.
Kiren Rijiju, India’s Minister of State for Youth Affairs & Sports, also expressed condolences at the passing of the former right-back and announced that the Sports Ministry is trying to put together some funds for his family as well. “I am saddened to hear of the untimely demise of footballer Manitombi Singh. We are trying to work out some emergency funds from the Sports Ministry to support the family in these trying times,” he said.
“I am deeply saddened to hear the news in the morning today. We played together in small clubs here before he moved to bigger clubs like Salgaocar, Air India, and then Mohun Bagan. His health was not good for a long time, but he was coaching very well in local academies. A lot of youngsters developed under him here.
“It’s a great personal loss for me as well as Manipur and Indian football. My deepest condolences to his family,” NEROCA FC head coach Gift Raikhan was quoted as saying by The Times of India. Meanwhile, Moirangthem Manimohon – the secretary of NEROCA – informed that the club will hold a condolence meeting at the club house on Monday morning for players and officials to gather in his memory.
Manitombi Singh was a member of the Indian national team that triumphed at the LG Cup in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam in 2002. He had come off the bench against the hosts on August 6, 2002, to make his international debut in the same tournament. Moreover, he also played in two more international matches – both against Jamaica – at Watford and Wolverhampton in the same year.