Magical player of the game, SUBIMAL GOSWAMI also known as “CHUNI” GOSWAMI. Indian football history will always be incomplete without the name “CHUNI”, one of the most influential players of his generation and showing his class in cricket apart from football. If you haven’t heard of “CHUNI DA” (DA is called elder brother in the Bengali language) then you don’t know about Indian football history’s golden era.
On his birth anniversary (15th January), the football universe remember him as once in a lifetime athlete who was the master of the game in his time. Leaving a mark on football history forever, he was considered to be the most skillful, disciplined, and inspirational player in the team. A nightmare for defenders with his dazzling dribbles and a leader who had a never give up attitude.
Born on 15th January 1938 in Kishoreganj (now in Bangladesh) to Late Promothonath Goswami named his son SUBIMAL GOSWAMI who did his schooling from Tirthapati Institution and completed his graduation from Asutosh College.
CHUNI GOSWAMI DISCOVERY AND MOHUN BAGAN:
Most of the amazing talents have had a great story to their names. It was another legend and Mohun Bagan Ratna as well, the great Balaidas Chatterjee, who saw a young boy playing in the field like he has known the game for a long time but he was doing things way beyond his age.
After being asked about the boy’s whereabouts and a very clear discussion with the father of the boy, Balaidas decided to give Mohun Bagan its newest future star. Chuni joined the Mohun Bagan at the age of 8 in 1946 where he played for the junior team. Later he graduated in the year of 1954 and started playing for the senior team of Mohun Bagan.
So, I see Chuni again. You seem to have become a permanent feature in the finals.”Dr. SSARVEPALLI RADHAKRISHNAN, 2nd President of India at Durand cup final
He was of a wiry build but had remarkable ball control and could dribble pass any defense on his day. Chuni Goswami scored 200 goals for Mohun Bagan while winning the Kolkata league for 4 times and won the Durand cup 3 times in a row (1963-1965).
Similarly, won Santosh Trophy 3 times while representing Bengal and Chuni Goswami became the star of Bengal. He was also approached by many clubs in one of them was Tottenham Hotspur but he chose to stay for his childhood club Mohun Bagan.
INTERNATIONAL CAREER AND ASIAN GAMES GOLD:
Chuni Goswami was an early success and a bang on talent for Indian football which earned him a place in the Indian national team. Chuni made his debut for Indian team in 1956 during their 1-0 victory over the Chinese Olympic team.
Known to be a tough taskmaster, the famous India coach Syed Rahim had a soft spot for Goswami. Once, Goswami joined an India camp late and a player pointed that out to Rahim. “Play like him and I will let you join late too,” Abdul Rahim Syed said.
On the field, he was total magic — a complete player. He could dribble, he could shoot, he could pass. His ball control was amazing. He could mesmerize fans and even opponents.Franco Fortunato (teammate of 1962 Asian Games squad)
The legendary coach of India, Abdul Rahim SYED created one of the legendary teams in Indian football history. The first international tournament for Goswami was the 1960 Olympics in Rome where India couldn’t progress beyond the group stage. India lost their two games against Hungary (1-0) and Peru(3-1) but shared a point in a 1-1 draw with a strong contender France.
It was the same team with few changes which represented India in1962 Asian games in Jakarta, Indonesia. The team had three forwards, Pradeep Kumar Banerjee, Chuni Goswami, and Tulsidas Balaram, who scored 9 goals out of 11 in the Asian Games whereas Goswami himself scoring 3 out of them.
India started their Asian Games campaign with a loss of 0-2 against South Korea but the guidance of Syed Rahim and the leadership of Chuni Goswami transformed the team. Later, India went on to win all the matches and defeating South Vietnam 2-3 where Goswami netting a double for India. India defeated South Korea in the finals for the gold by 2-1.
Chuni Goswami led the team to AFC Asia Cup 1964 where India ended the tournament as runners-up to Israel and a similar situation was at the Merdeka Cup when India finished as runners-up. Chuni ended his football career in 1964 and scoring 9 goals in 30 appearances for the Indian football team.
A chapter of Chuni Goswami’s life came to an end where he entertained and gave people the ultimate joy of football.
CRICKET AND AFTERLIFE
Chuni Goswami was a personality whom everybody admired but for what he was admired themost was his equal excellence in different sports. After football, it was cricket in which he had shown wonders. Played 46 matches for Bengal and won Ranji Trophy for 2 times as an all-rounder.
Later on after playing football and cricket professionally, Chuni Goswami worked in a nationalized bank. He was the first director of the Tata Football Academy, Jamshedpur (1986-1990).
CHUNI GOSWAMI AWARDS AND HONOURS:
In the 1962 Asian Games where the Indian football team won gold, Chuni Goswami received the Best Striker Asia award. After a year in 1963, he won Arjuna Award for football. It was the year 1983 when he received one of the most prestigious awards in India, Padma Shri, 1983.
Mohun Bagan honored one of the most loyal players, Chuni Goswami, with Mohun Bagan Ratna in 2005, and in the same year, he was designated as the sheriff of Kolkata. Postal Department issued a stamp in his honor on January 15, his birthday, 2020.
GOODBYE TO THE WORLD:
Subimal Goswami aka Chuni Goswami left the world on 30th April 2020 after a cardiac arrest in Kolkata leaving behind his beloved wife Basanti Goswami and son Sudipto Goswami.
Chuni Goswami will always be remembered as the Golden boy of the Golden Era of Indian football in the whole world while outside football a real charmer and a people’s man, Hope to see SUBIMAL GOSWAMI in another world and inspiring the world with his football skills.
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