Kolkata: Legendary football coach Amal Dutta, who was suffering from age related illness, passed away at his residence yesterday on Sunday around 8.15pm. His son Ashish was by his side when the 87-year-old breathed his last.
Dutta had stopped consuming solid food for three months and was on a liquid diet. Government ministers from Trinamool Congress, former footballers and other dignitaries have been visiting Dutta's house over the last few days as his health deteriorated.
A midfielder during his playing days, Dutta represented India in the 1954 Asian Games at Manila.
After his playing career, he went to England for a one-year FA coaching course, where he was taught by the renowned Walter Winterbottom.
Known as the country's first professional coach, Dutta is credited for shaping Indian football. Former India striker PK Banerjee expressed shock at Dutta's demise.
"He was a doyen among the coaches of India. I went to see him a fortnight ago and his brain was functioning fine. He spoke to me. Now, I can't believe he is no more. His demise leaves a big void in Indian football," Banerjee told mid-day.
Dutta is survived by his son, daughter Nupur and wife Arti. The funeral date has not yet been decided.