PK Banerjee, the Asian Games gold medallist was suffering from sepsis and multi-organ failure due to pneumonia on a background of Parkinson’s disease, dementia and heart problems (Photo Credit: Twitter)
PK Banerjee, the legendary footballer and two-time Olympian, has died at the age of 83, according to family sources. Banerjee was suffering from sepsis and multi-organ failure and was given blood transfusion and his condition still remained critical, the hospital where he is undergoing treatment said. "He has received blood transfusion. He remains on haemodialysis support and is still in very critical condition," Medical Superspecialty Hospital stated. The Asian Games gold medallist was suffering from sepsis and multi-organ failure due to pneumonia on a background of Parkinson’s disease, dementia and heart problems. PK Banerjee's list of achievements in Indian football is phenomenal.
PK Banerjee was one of the first recipients of Arjuna Award, when the awards were instituted in 1961. He was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri in 1990 and was named Indian Footballer of the 20th century by IFFHS. Banerjee represented India in three Asian Games namely, the 1958 Asian Games in Tokyo, the 1962 Asian Games in Jakarta, where India clinched the gold medal in football and then the 1966 Asian Games in Bangkok.
However, his most notable achievement was during the 1960 Rome Olympics when he scored one of the goals in the game against France as the match ended 1-1. Banerjee was also part of the Indian football team which had arrived in Melbourne for the 1956 Olympic Games. In that edition, Banerjee represented India in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics and played a key role in their 4-2 win over Australia in the quarterfinals. During the 1962 Asian Games in Jakarta, India squared off in the final against South Korea and Banerjee scored a goal in the 17th minute and they extended their advantage with a goal by Jarnail Singh Dhillon in the 20th minute. Although South Korea gave a scare with a goal in the 85th minute, India held their nerve and clinched Asian Games Gold.
Born on June 23, 1936 in Moynaguri on the outskirts of Jalpaiguri in West Bengal, Banerjee's family relocated to his uncle's place in Jamshedpur before partition. He scored 65 international goals in 84 appearance for the national team. Banerjee's contribution to Indian football was duly recognised by the world governing body FIFA that awarded him the Centennial Order of Merit in 2004.