Footballer Keshto Pal Passes away

Updated: Oct 14, 2009, 18:52 PM IST

Kolkata: Former India centre forward Krishna Kumar Pal, known as `Keshto Pal`, died this morning after a prolonged illness.

Pal, 78, was suffering from Alzheimer`s disease and was admitted at the SSKM Hospital on October 10. He breathed his last around 6.55 am there today, sources in Mohun Bagan, his former club, said.

A bachelor, Pal lived with his relatives at Shyamnagar in North 24 Parganas district.

The prolific goal scorer of 1950s, Pal was part of the Indian football team in 1952 Helsinki and 1956 Melbourne Olympics. He also represented India in the Asian Games.

In the 1956 Games, Pal played a stellar role under captain Samar (Badru) Banerjee in guiding India to the semifinals.

Pal had once been the number one Indian striker, famous for his clinical headers and powerful shooting abilities.

"I still vividly remember his goal against Myanmar. Playing for IFA, he scored a brilliant header from about 10 feet above the ground. It was simply exceptional," said P K Banerjee, who was Pal`s teammate in 1956 Olympics.

Having started off his club football career with Juger Protik (Shyamnagar), Pal represented Bhowanipore Club and was a prolific scorer for Mohun Bagan in the `50s.

Bagan paid tributes to Pal by laying the club`s flag on his body in the club tent.

"It is a great loss for Indian football and to Mohun Bagan in particular. Pal`s service to the club had been phenomenal," Mohun Bagan general secretary Anjan Mitra said in a condolence message.

Bureau Report