Legenday Indian Footballer Tulsidas Balaram passes away

India’s Asian Games gold-medal winning footballer and Olympian Tulsidas Balaram died on Thursday after a prolonged illness, sources close to his family said.

Balaram was 87 and a widower living in a flat on the banks of Hooghly river in Uttarpara.

The 1962 Asiad champion was hospitalised on December 26 last year and was being treated for urinary infection and abdominal distension.

“His condition did not improve and he breathed his last around 2pm today,” a source close to the family told PTI. “We are grateful to the state government and the sports minister Aroop Biswas for taking good care of him during his last days,” he added.

Balaram belonged to the golden generation of Indian football in the 1950s and 60s where he paired with legends such as Chuni Goswami and PK Banerjee, and they came to be known as ‘holy trinity’.

An Arjuna awardee, Balaram’s exploits at the 1960 Rome Olympics are well documented.

Placed in the ‘group of death’ with Hungary, France and Peru, India lost the opener to Hungary 1-2 but Balaram covered himself in glory by scoring a 79th-minute goal. India came close to upsetting France a few days later with Balaram again showing his class.

Balaram, who mostly played as a centre-forward or as a left-winger, called it a day in 1963 owing to poor health.

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