Calcutta: Having fought death for over 24 hours, Krishanu Dey lost his last battle at a city hospital Thursday afternoon.
The former India football captain leaves behind his father, wife Ponny, 12-year-old son Sohan, an elder brother and countless admirers.
Doctors had given enough hints Wednesday that the 41-year-old was perhaps fighting a lost battle. But people had kept their fingers crossed, hoping against hope, that the man who churned out many magic moments on the football field would produce one final miracle.
That was not to be.
In a semi-coma state overnight, India’s finest ball-player of the Eighties and early Nineties had a cardiac arrest in the morning, which he withstood. He was on continuous dialysis since 11.30 am and a final cardiac arrest stopped his heartbeat at 3.15 pm.
Doctors informed the cause of his death was pulmonary embollism — due to which a clot of blood that originated in the lower half of his body went on to affect his lungs and finally wore down all the organs.
It was a rare disease to claim a former footballer, whose brilliance with the ball and wizardry in producing uncannily accurate passes was equally rare. Dr Subrata Maitra suggested Krishanu was an unusual victim, considering he was a player, still pretty active with coaching and office matches.
“Normally, people who are bed-ridden for some time, or those with little exercise of the lower limbs are affected by this,” the doctor opined.
A who’s who of the city’s football fraternity — past and present — rushed to the hospital. Sailen Manna, P.K. Banerjee, Sukumar Samajpati, Subhas Bhowmick, Goutam Sarkar, Shyam Thapa, Subrata Bhattacharya, Mohammed Habeeb were among the many notable names who were stunned by the impact of Krishanu’s shocking expiry. A number of officials, from clubs and the governing bodies, and hundreds of fans were also there.
A generous gathering of people from other walks of life — including state sports minister Subhas Chakraborty, mayor Subrata Mukherjee, Mamata Banerjee, actor Biplab Chatterjee, and Grandmaster Dibyendu Barua — were also present to pay a final tribute to someone who had mesmerised them all with his masterly touches and fine skills.
Krishanu’s body was first taken to his old club Port Trust and East Bengal was the next stop. After this the hearse travelled to Mohun Bagan, the offices of AIFF and IFA, the Food Corporation of India (the place he worked for) tent before heading for his home in Naktala, in the southern part of the city.
A crowd of hundreds chose to do away with the India-Kenya cricket World Cup semi-final and followed the hearse to form a convoy. Later in the night, it headed for the Keoratala crematorium.