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One of India’s best goalkeepers falls to massive heart attack

Shibaji Banerjee, one of the best football goalkeepers that the country has ever produced, died of a sudden and massive heart attack in Kolkata on the evening of February 19. The shocking news spread across the sporting circles in the city and beyond, with condolences pouring in from all sides, including from West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. He was 60 and is survived by his wife and son.

The legend in later days
The legend in later days

Always a Mohun Bagan player and supporter, he will not only be remembered for his consistent and extraordinary performances, but also for his great performance against the best in the world, Pele, when the New York Cosmos club came to play an exhibition  match at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens in 1977.

Banerjee gave a great performance, saving a number of goal-bound shots, including a free-kick by Pele. The match had ended 2-2.

A genial man in his private life, Banerjee was known to be a penalty-kick specialist, in saving them. He played for Mohun Bagan for 11 years and during his tenure East Bengal failed to break this last line of Bagan defence for four years.

He had a history of heart problems, but he was otherwise fit and this sudden death has jolted all.

Image courtesy: Goal.com, Sportskeeda.com

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