Former India goalkeeper Bandya Kakade, who passed away yesterday from a heart attack, was “a gem of a person” according to his friends and teammates.
“He was a sweetheart, very loving and very humble — a true gem of a person,” said former India player Bernard Pereira, who played alongside Kakade for Maharastra.
Close friend and Tata SC teammate John Alphonso, said: “For the last two years, the right side of his body was paralyzed. But he took it in his stride and traveled from Goregaon to Colaba almost every day to meet his friends.” Alphonso said that Kakade was unmarried and used to live alone after his mother expired five years ago. “He had nobody except his sister's family, which is in Pune.”
A member of the 1970 Asian Games bronze medal-winning team, Kakade was a versatile player. “Along with being a goalie, he even doubled up as a right-back at times. Whenever he conceded a goal, he used to go back to the ground the next day and analyze what went wrong," said Pereira.