Correct Answer : Option (C) - 16th February 2023
Tulsidas Balaram, one of the greatest footballers ever to play for India, passed away on 16th February 2023, ending the most glorious chapter of Indian football.
* Balaram was the last surviving member of the ‘Golden Trinity’ of football : the other two, Chuni Goswami and P.K. Banerjee, having passed away in 2020.
* Balaram breathed his last in a Kolkata hospital after a prolonged illness. He was 86.
* One of the key members of the squad that created history by winning gold at the 1962 Jakarta Asian Games, Balaram was a pioneer in the technical aspect of the game. He was arguably the first ‘complete’ football player that India ever had.
* He was a sublime dribbler, deadly shooter, playmaker, and architect of attacks, and, when necessary, had no hesitation in racing back to bolster the defence.
Career achievements : In a professional career that lasted less than 10 years, Balaram won most of the major trophies in Indian football. While playing for India, he won the Asian Games gold (1962) and was runners-up in the Merdeka Cup (1959), and had scored 10 goals in 36 matches.
He also won four Santosh Trophies : for Hyderabad in 1956 and for Bengal in 1958, 1959, and 1962. He was the captain of the Bengal squad that won the 1962 Santosh Trophy.
But it was while playing for the Kolkata giant East Bengal that Balaram’s legend in Indian football was cemented. During his stint at East Bengal between 1957 and 1962, Balaram won the DCM Trophy (1957, 1960), the IFA Shield (1958, 1961), Durand Cup (1960), Calcutta Football League (1961), Rovers Cup (1962), and the H.K. Mookherjee shield (1957, 1961).
Kalyan Chaubey, president of the All India Football Federation (AIFF), said in a condolence message : “He was a blessed child of the football god. I am sure Balaram-da has returned to him, leaving us mourning for one of the most gifted players in Indian football history. He truly was from a golden generation of Indian football. He was one of the best we had ever seen. My thoughts go out to his family.”
Born : October 4, 1936, in Ammuguda village near Secunderabad
Died : February 16, 2023, Kolkata.
Source : The Hindu