Novy Kapadia, the voice of Indian football, passes away

Veteran commentator and author Novy Kapadia, widely regarded as the voice of Indian football, passed away due to health complications on Thursday.

Novy Kapadia

Novy Kapadia was extremely popular for his anecdotal style of commentary.   -  Shanker Chakravarty

Novy Kapadia, friend of football and footballers, is no more. He passed away on Thursday afternoon following complications from the Motor neurone disease he was battling. Kapadia was on ventilator support for more than a month.

“He was the voice of Indian football,” said fellow commentator Ghaus Mohammad, who grew up in the broadcasting world with guidance from Kapadia. For Kapadia, football was life.

“I miss the microphone,” he remarked when I met him at his home a few months ago. Nothing could keep Kapadia away from football. He was an unmissable figure at the Ambedkar Stadium during the season and was busy travelling to various television studios as an expert. Having known him for four decades, I can’t recall Kapadia ever losing his temper.

“Man with an inbuilt smile,” was a comment he would cherish. A popular teacher of literature at the Khalsa College, Kapadia always had an ear and time for his students. “An ideal guide in life,” said Harpreet Kaur Lamba, who went on to become a sports journalist.

READ: Veteran commentator and author Novy Kapadia unable to avail pension

Kapadia’s deep understanding of football and an elephantine memory gave him an iconic status as an authority on the game. A widely travelled commentator, Kapadia gifted his fans a superb book on the history of Indian football - Barefoot to Boots. There was hardly a development in football that he may not have been aware of.

A walking encyclopedia on football, Kapadia also followed cricket and hockey closely. A much-loved person, Kapadia took pride in having covered nine FIFA World Cups, apart from Olympics, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games. He was 68.

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