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Chuni Goswami

Chuni Goswami
Goswami with India in 1961
Personal information
Birth name Subimal Goswami
Date of birth (1938-01-15)15 January 1938
Place of birth Kishoreganj, Bengal Presidency, British India
(present-day Dhaka Division, Bangladesh)
Date of death 30 April 2020(2020-04-30) (aged 82)
Place of death Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Position(s) Striker
Youth career
1946–1954 Mohun Bagan
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1954–1968 Mohun Bagan 296 (326)
International career
1956–1964 India 37 (12)
Managerial career
1986–1989 Tata Football Academy (director)
1991–1992 India
Medal record
Men's football
Representing  India
Asian Games
Gold medal – first place 1962 Jakarta Team
AFC Asian Cup
Runner-up 1964 Israel Team
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 27 May 2008
‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 27 May 2008

Subimal "Chuni" Goswami (15 January 1938 – 30 April 2020) was an Indian professional footballer[1][2] and first-class cricketer. As footballer, he played as a striker or winger, captained both the Mohun Bagan[3][4] club and the India national team.[5] He also served as the Sheriff of Kolkata. Goswami scored nine goals in 30 international appearances. He was an Olympian, represented India national team at the 1960 Summer Olympics.[6][7] He also led the team to achieve the gold medal at the 1962 Asian Games,[8] and earn the runners-up position at the 1964 AFC Asian Cup.[9]

Playing for the India national team under coaching of Syed Abdul Rahim,[10] Goswami was also a first class cricketer, playing Ranji Trophy for Bengal. He captained his team to the final of the tournament in 1971–72.[11] On 15 January 2020, India Post issued a commemorative postage stamp in his honour.[12] Goswami's autobiography Khelte Khelte was published in 1982.[13]

Personal life

Born in Kishoreganj, Bengal Presidency, Goswami moved to Calcutta and settled there in his childhood. His elder brother Manik Goswami was also a footballer who played for George Telegraph.[14] Goswami was married to Basanti and gave birth to their son, named Sudipto.[15] Goswami considered East Bengal legend Ahmed Khan as his idol.[16] He also played tennis at the Calcutta South Club.[16]

Goswami was elected as the Sheriff of Kolkata in 2005.[17] He was a member of the CC&FC, and felicitated by the club, which is one of the oldest sports club in the world, founded in the late 18th century.[18] He also served as president of Calcutta Veterans Club.[16]

Football career

Chuni Goswami

Goswami began his playing career with the team of University of Calcutta and was appointed captain.[16] He led them to win the All India Inter University Championships for the Sir Ashutosh Mukjerjee Trophy.[16] In the final, he scored the match winner against University of Bombay.[16] He later went on to represent Bengal in Santosh Trophy and was part of the 1956 title win with P. K. Banerjee's, against Mysore.[16] Goswami also appeared in prestigious Merchant's Cup tournament, hosted by Calcutta Cricket and Football Club.[19][20]

Chuni Goswami holds the distinction of playing for a single club, Mohun Bagan, throughout his club career despite numerous offers from other clubs including one reported offer from Tottenham Hotspur.[21]

Chuni Goswami was the poster boy of Indian football. He was a top-class player with dribbling, passing, his ball control was better than anybody else. His passing and his through passes were excellent. He could assist strikers like Neville D'Souza and make them score with his beautiful passes.

— Gautam Roy, football historian, on Chuni Goswami to the Olympic Channel.[22]

Club career

Goswami joined the Mohun Bagan junior team in 1946 at the age of 8 years. He was a part of the junior squad up to 1954 and then graduated to the Mohun Bagan senior team.[23] Mentored by club legend Balaidas Chatterjee, Goswami went on to represent Mohun Bagan in various foreign tours.[24][25] He made his club debut on 29 May in the same year in Mohun Bagan's 3–0 win against Eastern Railway, in which he scored a goal.[13] In the 1959 CFL season, Goswami scored 14 goals for his team.[26] He continued playing for Mohun Bagan until his retirement in 1968. In the 1960s, Goswami and Jarnail Singh became two highest-paid players of the club; both of them captained the team respectively.[27] Goswami captained Mohun Bagan in five seasons from 1960 to 1964.[28][29] During his stay at the club, he won the Calcutta Football League six times, IFA Shield and Durand Cup four times.

International career

Chuni Goswami made his international debut for India in 1956 during the team's 1–0 victory over the Chinese Olympic team.[29] He went on to play for India in 30 international matches including in Olympics, Asian Games, Asia Cup and Merdeka Cup, scoring 9 goals.[30] He captained India to the Asian Games Gold Medal in 1962 and a Silver in the 1964 AFC Asian Cup in Tel Aviv and in the Merdeka Cup.[31][32][33][34] Goswami, known for having incredible partnership with P. K. Banerjee and Tulsidas Balaram, is one of the "Indian football's holy trinity".[35][36][37][38][39]

Career statistics

International statistics

Former India national team captain, Chuni Goswami
Goswami playing for India national football team in 1959.

Chuni Goswami played in 37 FIFA "A" international matches having scored 12 times for the National team.[40][41][42][43][44][45][46][47][48][49][50]

India national team
Year Apps Goals
1958 5 2
1959 7 2
1960 5 1
1961 3 0
1962 5 3
1963 2 0
1964 10 4
Total 37 12[51]

International goals

Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition Goals
26 May 1958 Korakuen Velodrome, Tokyo  Burma 3–2 Won 1958 Asian Games 1[52]
30 May 1958 Tokyo Football Stadium, Tokyo  Hong Kong 5–2 Won 1958 Asian Games 1[52]
27 August 1959 Ghazi Stadium, Kabul  Afghanistan 5–2 Won 1960 Olympic Qualifier 1[53]
11 December 1959 Maharaja's College Stadium, Kochi  Iran 3−1 Won 1960 AFC Asian Cup qualification 1[54]
30 April 1960 Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, Jakarta  Indonesia 2–0 Won 1960 Olympic Qualifier 1[55]
28 August 1962 Senayan Stadium, Jakarta  Thailand 4–1 Won 1962 Asian Games 1[56]
1 September 1962 Senayan Stadium, Jakarta  South Vietnam 3–2 Won 1962 Asian Games 2[57]
2 June 1964 Bloomfield Stadium, Tel Aviv  Hong Kong 3–1 Won 1964 AFC Asian Cup 1[58]
19 June 1964 Rabindra Sarobar Stadium, Calcutta  Iran 1–3 Loss 1964 Olympic Qualifier 1[59]
27 August 1964 Kuala Lumpur, Malaya  Cambodia 4–0 Won 1964 Merdeka Tournament 1[60]
29 August 1964 Kuala Lumpur, Malaya  Thailand 2–1 Won 1964 Merdeka Tournament 1[61]

Honours

Mohun Bagan[62]

India

Bengal[67][68]

Individual

Records

Accolades

  • Sportskeeda All time Indian Football XI[71]

Cricket career

Cricket information
BattingRight-handed
BowlingRight arm fast medium
RoleAll-rounder
Domestic team information
YearsTeam
1962–1973Bengal
Career statistics
Competition FC
Matches 46
Runs scored 1592
Batting average 28.42
100s/50s 1/7
Top score 103
Balls bowled 2917
Wickets 47
Bowling average 24.08
5 wickets in innings 1
10 wickets in match 0
Best bowling 5/47
Catches/stumpings 40/–
Source: ESPNcricinfo, 7 March 2014

Chuni Goswami made his first class debut for Bengal in the Ranji Trophy during the 1962–63 season.[72] He was a Right Handed Batsman and a Right Arm Medium Pacer. After retiring from football, Goswami fully focussed on playing cricket for West Bengal. He appeared in two Ranji Trophy finals, losing to Mumbai each time. In the 1968–69 final, he scored 96 and 84; but Ajit Wadekar's century helped Mumbai win on first innings lead. Later, he led the Bengal cricket team to a 1972 Ranji Trophy final which they lost to Mumbai for whom Gavaskar and Shivalkar starred. Playing for Combined East and Central Zone team against the touring West Indies side in December 1966, Chuni Goswami took 8 wickets in the match as his team surprisingly beat the tourists by an innings.[73] In his cricket career, which spanned up to the 1972–73 season, he played 46 first class matches, scoring 1,592 runs with one century and seven fifties, and took 47 wickets.[74]

Goswami is also known for this tremendous display in a first class match for the combined team of East Zone and Central Zone in 1966–67, in which he took eight wickets in both innings against the Gary Sobers-led West Indies team that was touring in India.[16]

Managerial career

Goswami later became team official of Mohun Bagan and went with Karuna Bhattacharya managed team to newly independent Bangladesh in May 1972, where they defeated Dhaka Mohammedan in first match, but lost to Shadhin Bangla football team in their last match.[75] He later became director of Tata Football Academy in 1986,[13] and also managed India national football team in 1991–92.

Death

Goswami died on 30 April 2020 at the age of 82 in Kolkata after a prolonged illness.[76] For the last few months, Goswami was suffering from underlying ailments with diabetes, prostate infection and neurological problems. His family confirmed that Goswami was admitted to a city hospital earlier in the day and died at 5 pm after a cardiac arrest.[77][78][79]

Awards

Goswami won numerous awards during his playing career as well as after retirement for his contribution towards Indian football. The prominent awards won by him are:[29]

Legacy

At the 123rd edition of the prestigious IFA Shield, best player of the tournament award was renamed as 'Chuni Goswami Memorial Award for the Best Player' in honour of Goswami.[86][87][88][89]

Chuni Goswami Gate of Mohun Bagan Athletic Club in right, and Gate of the Calcutta Football Club of CC&FC, in Kolkata Maidan, December 2023.

On 15 April 2023, iconic "Chuni Goswami Gate" was unveiled by former Indian international cricketer Sunil Gavaskar at the Mohun Bagan club headquarters in Kolkata, in memory of him.[90][91][92]

See also

References

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Bibliography

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