One of India’s footballing greats, Tulsidas Balaram, who was instrumental in the country winning the 1962 Jakarta Asian Games gold, has been admitted to a multi-specialty hospital in Kolkata to undergo treatment for urinary infection and abdominal distension.
The Jakarta Asian Games gold, where it beat South Korea 2-1, was India’s second title triumph in football at the multi-discipline continental games, and the achievement hasn’t been repeated since.
The 87-year-old belongs to the golden generation of Indian football in the 1950 and 60s where he paired with legends like Chuni Goswami and PK Banerjee, and they came to be known as the country’s football’s ‘holy trinity’.
A medical bulletin issued by the hospital on Thursday said that Balaram was admitted on December 26 after he complained of loss of appetite, abdominal distension and urinary inconsistence.
The hospital said that Balaram, regarded as one of India’s greatest strikers, is under the care of a multi-disciplinary team of doctors and is being “further investigated to rule out chronic liver disease and malignancy”.
An Arjuna awardee, Balaram’s exploits at the 1960 Rome Olympics are well documented. Placed in the ‘group of death’ with Hungary, France and Peru, India lost the opener to Hungary 1-2 but Balaram covered himself in glory by scoring a 79th minute goal.
India came close to upsetting France a few days later with Balaram again showing his class.
Balaram, who mostly played as a centre-forward or as a left-winger, called it a day in 1963 owing to poor health.
West Bengal sports minister Aroop Biswas visited the ailing former footballer and promised all possible help.