The former East Bengal captain passed away after succumbing to COVID-19.

Former Indian international and winger Surajit Sengupta passed away earlier on Thursday after succumbing to COVID-19. He was 70 at the time of his death.

Sengupta, who made his International debut on July 24, 1974 against Thailand in the Merdeka Cup in Kuala Lumpur went on to represent India in 14 international matches, and scored one goal in the process – which was scored against Kuwait in the 1978 Asian Games.

Over the years, he represented the Blue Tigers in the Asian Games in 1974, and 1978, the Merdeka Cup in 1974, the President’s Cup in 1977 in Seoul, and International Friendlies against UAE, and Bahrain (1979).

Mr. Praful Patel, the President of the All India Football Federation, in his condolence message, said, “It’s sad to hear that Surajit-da, one of the most skilful wingers in the history of Indian Football is no more. His invaluable contribution to Indian Football will always remain with us, and never be forgotten. Indian Football has only got poorer. My condolences to his family. I share the grief.”

Mr. Kushal Das, the General Secretary of All India Football Federation, in his condolence message, said: “Mr. Surajit Sengupta will always remain alive in his achievements. He was an extremely crafty winger – someone who has been the inspiration for so many generations. My condolences to his family. May his soul rest in peace.”

At the domestic level, Sengupta was part of the triumphant Bengal Santosh Trophy squad in 1975, 1976, 1977 and in 1978, and scored 26 goals.

He began his club career with Khidirpore Club and played for Mohun Bagan for five years in 1972, 1973, and from 1981-83. As he went on to score 54 goals for the club, he helped them win the Rovers Cup in 1972 (joint-winners), and in 1981; the Federation Cup in 1981, and 1982, the Sait Nagjee Trophy in 1981, the Durand Cup in 1982 (joint-winners), the Darjeeling Gold Cup in 1982 (joint-winners), and the Calcutta League in 1983.

He also played for East Bengal from 1974-79, captaining the Red and Golds in 1978. He scored 92 goals for them and helped them win the Calcutta League in 1974, 1975, 1977, DCM Trophy in 1974, the IFA shield in 1974, 1975, 1976 (joint-winners), the Darjeeling Gold Cup in 1976 (joint winners), the Federation Cup in 1978 (joint-winners), the Rovers Cup in 1975, the Durand Cup, and the Bordoloi Trophy in 1978.

Besides, he also represented Mohammedan Sporting in 1980 where he scored one goal for them. He was part of the triumphant Sporting squad which won the Sikkim Gold Cup, the DCM Trophy, and the Rovers Cup (joint winners) that season.

He was conferred with the East Bengal Club Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018.

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