East Bengal’s long-serving official dies

Swapan Ball died in the wee hours on Friday after a prolonged battle with cancer.

Swapan Ball was among East Bengal's most popular men.   -  Deepa H. Ramakrishnan (Representative Image)

Well-known East Bengal club official Swapan Ball died in the wee hours on Friday after a prolonged battle with cancer. Ball, 71, is survived by his wife and two daughters.

“We received a very disheartening news earlier. Swapan Ball is no more. We are deeply saddened by this loss. He has been a part of the red and gold brigade for years and played the role of a manager successfully for years. May he rest in peace,” East Bengal said in its condolence message.

Having joined East Bengal as a young footballer, he went on to become the club’s one of the most popular men - a go-to man, who served the club like his family for more than three decades. From attending team meetings to helping out the support staff, Ball was there for everyone all the time.

At a time when player agents were unknown in India, Ball went to Ghana in the 1990s and signed Suley Musah, Eammnuel Opoku and Jackson Egyopong. East Bengal saw many highs during his association, including the three National League titles, several Federation Cup wins, IFA Shield and Durand Cup triumphs.

He was there with the team when it won the ASEAN Cup, reached the AFC Cup semifinals and the seven successive Calcutta Football League wins recently.

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