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PK’s positivity was infectious… RIP, says Ganguly

Tributes pour in for PK, the man with the 'golden kick'
PK was an inspiring mentor. Players can never forget his pep-talks before 'big matches'.
PK was an inspiring mentor. Players can never forget his pep-talks before 'big matches'.
(ABP archives)

PTI   |   Published 20.03.20, 02:41 PM

Notables from all walks of life joined athletes cutting across sports to pay their tributes to P.K. Banerjee after the football legend's 83-year-old heart stopped beating following a long battle with multiple ailments.

From cricket greats Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly to renowned actor Ajay Devgn, Twitter was flooded with messages that relived fond memories associated with the man, whose name goes well beyond the sport he played.

“Heartfelt condolences on the passing of the great Indian footballer P.K. Banerjee! Have fond memories of meeting him on a few occasions and the positivity he spread. May his soul Rest In Peace!” Tendulkar tweeted.

Banerjee was suffering from respiratory problems due to pneumonia and had an underlying history of Parkinson's disease, dementia and heart problem. He was on life support at a hospital here since March 2 and breathed his last at 12:40pm on Friday.

“Lost a very dear person today... someone who I loved and respected enormously… someone who had so much influence in my career when I was a 18-year-old boy .. his positivity was infectious .. may his soul rest in peace...,” Ganguly tweeted.

Actor Devgn said, “Had the good fortune of meeting football legend P.K. Banerjee in Kolkata during the Maidaan schedule in November. Sad to hear about his demise. RIP, the man with the golden kick.”

Indian football's biggest player in the present day, Sunil Chhetri called him a pioneer. “I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr P.K. Banerjee as well as to the entire Indian football fraternity.

“He was a pioneer in every sense of the word, and his achievements will forever have a place in Indian footballing history. Rest in peace,” Chhetri said.

Politicians also joined in sending tributes. Sports minister Kiren Rijiju said Banerjee's death had saddened him. “...a legendary figure in the world of Football in India. It's a massive loss for the nation's footballing fraternity. I pay my heartfelt tributes to the departed soul,” he tweeted.

Former sports minister Ajay Maken tweeted with a photograph, “The man with a golden kick- legendary P.K. Banerjee no more with us! RIP #PKBanerjee.

“PK Banerjee famously scored an equaliser to hold France to a 1-1 draw during the 1960 Olympics. My fond memories as Union Sports Minister - with him on felicitation of 1960 Olympians! Down pointing backhand index.”

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee wrote, “PK Banerjee's unparalleled contribution to Indian football will be etched in our memories & he will continue to serve as an inspiration for generations to come.

“Condolences to fans, family and the sporting fraternity for this irreparable loss.”

Union minister Babul Supriyo and West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankar also expressed sadness at Banerjee’s passing.

“Knew him so very well personally, had gone to his place several times. A vivacious competitor on ground, a tough taskmaster but a very affectionate soul & that's what made him a father figure to so many players. Amal Dutta & PK Banerjee both gone! End of a Era. RIP PradipDa,” Supriyo tweeted.

India cricketer Wriddhiman Saha was saddened too, and so were a few of his cricket colleagues. “Extremely saddened to hear about the passing away of Legendary P.K.Banerjee. One of the greats of the Indian Football. His contribution towards #IndianFootball will never be forgotten. Rest in Peace,” Saha tweeted.

Former footballer Raman Vijayan said, “RIP P.K Banerjee Sir Great legend..Fantastic coach..We will miss you Sir.”

Filmmaker Shoojit Sirkar wrote, “RIP P.K. Banerjee. Indian Football Legend.”

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