New Delhi :
Ex-India football international and star left-winger Amar Bahadur Gurung, whose all-important goal helped the country to win a bronze medal at the 1970 Asian Games, passed away at a hospital in Gurgaon this evening after a brief illness.
He was 73, said a media release.
Bahadur, who was an integral part of the strong Mafatlal
SC line-up along with Shyam, Ratan and Ranjit Thapa, was suffering from a bout of jaundice and was admitted to the hospital, where he succumbed to the illness, it said.
Born in 1942 in Dehradun, Bahadur made international debut against Cambodia in the Asia Cup qualifiers in Cambodia in 1967 and went on to earn 22 India caps.
Considered one of the finest left wingers India has ever produced, Bahadur was a regular member of the national team in the mid-60s and early 70s.
The mercurial winger, who mesmerised the crowd with his canny ball control and clinical finishing, scored the all-important match-winning goal in India’s 1-0 win against Japan which secured the country a bronze medal at the 1970 Asian Games in Bangkok.
It’s the last medal won in football by the country in the continental multi-event sports extravaganza.
He also represented India in three editions of the Merdeka Cup and played in the Pesta Sukan Cup in 1970.
He studied at the Gorkha Military School in Dehradun, joined the 4/8 Gorkha Rifles in 1960 and represented the Gorkha Rifles football team before quitting army service in 1967 to move to then Bombay where he plied his trade with the then famous club Mafatlal SC till the 1980s.
Initially, he was part of the triumphant Gorkha Brigade team, which won the Durand Cup in 1966 and two years later won the Rovers Cup with the Mafatlal SC.
In the Santosh Trophy national championships, he represented Services and Maharashtra, scoring eight goals (all for Maharashtra).
He holds the distinction of being the only player from Dehradun to be awarded Maharashtra’s highest sporting honour, the Shiv Chhatrapati Shivaji Award, in 1973.
After ending his playing career, Bahadur resettled in the Uttarakhand’s capital city and was actively involved in football promotion.