Legendary footballer Amar Bahadur passes away

Mumbai: Former Indian great and Maharashtra’s star footballer Amar Bahadur Gurung, breathed his last at a hospital in Gurgaon, on Wednesday evening. Amar Bahadur, who was fondly known as ‘Amar Dai’, among football fraternity, was suffering from a bout of jaundice and was admitted to hospital for treatment, but he succumbed to the illness. He was 73 years.

Amar Bahadur made his Indian debut against Cambodia in the Asia Cup Qualifiers in Cambodia in 1967 and had earned 22 India caps. The mercurial left-winger, who with his canny ball control and clinical finishing had scored the all-important winning goal in India’s 1-0 win against Japan which secured the country a Bronze medal at the 1970 Asian Games in Bangkok.

He also represented India in three editions of the Merdeka Cup and played in the Pesta Sukan Cup in 1970. Considered one the greatest left wingers India has ever produced, Amar was a regular member of the National team in the mid-60s and early 70s.

Amar Dai, who was born on 18 April 1942 in Dehradun, studied at the ?Gorkha Military School. He joined the 4/8 Gorkha Rifles in 1960 and represented the Gorkha Rifles football team before he quit Army service in 1967 to move to Bombay (now Mumbai), where he plied his trade with the then famous club Mafatlal SC.

At the domestic level, he was part of the triumphant Gorkha Brigade team which won the Durand Cup in 1966 and won the Rovers Cup for Mafatlal SC in 1968. In the Santosh Trophy 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 in Maharshtra, in 2007, Amar Bahadur Gurung resettled in Dehradun and since then was actively involved in football promotion. With the sole aim of sharing his knowledge and training budding players, Amar Bahadur formed the Doon FC club.

In his passing away India has lost a footballing legend. May his soul Rest in Peace.

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