Former India goalkeeper Celestine passes away

Former India goalkeeper A. U. Celestine, who represented the country in the Merdeka Cup in Malaysia in 1969, passed away at the age of 73.

Reserve Bank goal-keeper Celestine makes a save in the first-leg semifinal of the M.F.A. Shield tournament on August 26, 1969. Reserve Bank won the tie 1-0.   -  The Hindu Archives

Former Indian football team goalkeeper A. U. Celestine, passed away here on Monday. He was 73, and is survived by his wife and son. Celestine played for the Tamil Nadu men’s team in the Senior Nationals as a goalkeeper in the 1965 and 1969 National championships and also represented India in the Merdeka Cup in Malaysia in 1969.

He joined the Reserve Bank of India, Madras in 1967 and played for the team for several years. His contemporaries include Poyyathoppan, Orlando, Raju, Gunapandi, Thomas, Kosshy, Edwin Ross and Victor. Later, he was also the member in-charge for the Reserve Bank FC.

A cartilage injury, however, cut short his football career when he was at his peak. He served as a coach for the Tamil Nadu State teams: junior, sub-junior and women.

He then worked as a talent spotter with the All India Football Federation and also regularly trained the under-previleged children in North Madras and contributed to their education.