Renowned coach Amal Dutta passes away

Former footballer and renowned coach Amal Dutta, 86, passed away on Sunday evening at a private hospital in Kolkata.

Amal Dutta was India's first professional football coach.   -  The Hindu

Former footballer and renowned coach Amal Dutta, 86, passed away on Sunday evening at his residence in Kolkata. Dutta was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

His son Ashis Dutta said: “He was suffering from breathing problems, but was well till the morning.”

He had represented India in the 1954 Asian Games. After retiring, he went to England for a one-year FA coaching course.

Four years after his return, Dutta got his first big break when he took over as East Bengal's coach in 1963, midway through the Calcutta League. He managed the club till 1964.

He quit his job to become a full time coach, thus becoming India’s first professional coach.

He later went on to say: "Football was my passion. My dream was to start a football academy and groom youngsters and make them international class players. To leave a secure job was a risk, I was newly married and was not sure how I would support my family. I often showed football videos to neighbourhood children and charged them a small amount to augment my income."

He managed Mohun Bagan, where he tasted his first major success, winning the 1969 IFA Shield and Calcutta League.

Dutta also served as the Technical Director of the Indian squad in 1987.

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