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Krishanu Dey fighting for life

Calcutta: Arguably the finest Indian footballer of the Eighties, Krishanu Dey is fighting for his life at a city hospital. He was shifted there from a nursing home on Tuesday and on Wednesday, doctors confirmed a “multi-organ failure”.

Krishanu, 41, is in “semi-coma” and is on an artificial life support system. Doctors are not hopeful of his survival chances. They have diagnosed pulmonary embollism, a condition involving blood clot in the lungs.

The former India captain was admitted to the nursing home on March 13 with gastro-enteric complaints and had to be moved to the hospital as his condition kept deteriorating.

“He is not responding to treatment and his condition is getting worse. His sensory organs are gradually giving in. Survival chances in such cases are not bright,” said attending specialist Dr Subrata Maitra.

Later in the evening, the hospital Intensive Therapy Unit stated there has been no improvement.

Krishanu, a Food Corporation of India Grade I Assistant, is married and has a 12-year-old son. He is the younger of two sons and his father is still alive.

After joining Mohun Bagan in 1981, Krishanu went on to represent India with distinction and had a hugely successful club career with his maiden club as well as with East Bengal.

A creative midfielder, who doubled up as an attacker, Krishanu is widely regarded as a player of rare skill, touch and vision. He was undoubtedly the finest of his time and there has hardly been a more skilful player since.

He formed a famous partnership with Bikash Panji and the two played together from 1981 to 1995. A distraught Bikash was awaiting the latest medical bulletin at the hospital.

Krishanu’s finest moment came in the 1982 Merdeka Cup in Kuala Lumpur where India reached the semi-finals. Krishanu scored two goals in the 4-3 win over South Korea and followed it up with a hattrick in the 3-1 victory against Thailand.

He led India in the 1992 Asia Cup qualifiers. After retiring as player after the 1995-96 season, Krishanu has been involved in coaching, though he is yet to take charge of any of the glamour clubs.

A sizeable chunk of the city’s football fraternity, with a number of Krishanu’s contemporaries, ignored the evening drizzle to crowd the hospital. Later, former India captain and coach Syed Nayeemudding called in from Hyderabad to express his concern.

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