Sudip Chatterjee leaves all shocked - Former India captain dies after a guava chokes his respiratory tract

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By Staff Reporter in Calcutta
  • Published 19.09.06

Calcutta: Former Indian football captain Sudip Chatterjee died after a guava choked his respiratory tract on Monday afternoon. Chatterjee was 47 and is survived by wife, son and daughter.

The incident happened around 4.15 pm at his Mandirtala residence in Howrah. A piece of guava choked his respiratory tract and he fell down. A local physician was summoned, and on his advice family members and neighbours rushed him to a private nursing home where he was declared dead.

The news of his untimely death brought about a pall of gloom as footballers and well-wishers gathered at his residence in the evening. Arun Ghosh, Ashok Chatterjee, Mihir Bose, Debasish Mukherjee, Sumit Mukherjee, Manoranjan Bhattacharya, Atanu Bhattacharya, Bikas Panji, Jahar Das and Satyajit Chatterjee were among those who were present.

Sudip had not been keeping well for sometime and was also been to CMC Vellore for treatment.

Shocked friends, relatives and co-footballers were seen paying their last respects to the star all through the evening. The Telegraph managed to speak to few of them. The following are excerpts:

ATANU BHATTACHARYA: I can only say that I have lost a guardian today. Whenever we were together for an outstation trip, he used to guide us tremendously. That guidance helped us become aware of what to do and what not to.

BISWAJIT BHATTACHARYA: I, Krishanu (Dey), Bikash (Panji), and Sudip (Chatterjee) shared a very good relationship since our playing days. We had played together for so many years and became like a family. Sudip has given a lot to the Indian football and, in return, he got very little. He didn’t get the recognition he deserved.

DIPENDU BISWAS: Tuluda (Sudip Chatterjee’s nickname) had taught me a lot… I can only say today that I have played Santosh Trophy under his coaching thrice and on all occasions, we emerged champions.

MIHIR BOSE: I have lost a friend. I cannot express my feelings as nothing would bring him back. I feel a footballer of his stature should have received the Arjuna award. He was a much better footballer than many who had already bagged the coveted award.

TANUMOY BOSE: I’m too sad to describe it… What is paining me now most that the two most gifted players of my generation have departed this world. Both Krishanu Dey and Sudip Chatterjee were of international class and could’ve easily come into any all-time India team.

JAHAR DAS: He had mental problems, but that is not the cause of his early death. Actually players who stop doing work-outs suddenly may have problems in the latter part of their life. But his (Sudip’s) case was completely different. He was forced to leave Maidan on medical grounds. It is a sad day for Indian football.

ARUN GHOSH: I don’t need to say again what a great footballer he was. He was like my younger brother. He was spotted from the Sahajatri Club some decades back and was taken to BNR. A sad ending for such a great footballer. He was a tremendous fighter on the field apart from being a nice human being.

BIKAS PANJI: I have seen the death of two of my closest friends — Sudip and Krishanu (Dey) — within a span of short time. It is really hard for any human being to accept such shocks so frequently. I was away from home and a friend of mine called up to give this news. I rushed here soon after getting the news.