Gurbux remembers association with Chuni

Gurbux Singh, who came to Calcutta in 1957, said he used to frequent the Maidan to catch a glimpse of the legendary footballer.

Gurbux Singh and Chuni Goswami

(From left) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with iconic hockey player Gurbux Singh, Davis Cupper Akhtar Ali, Olympian Chuni Goswami and tennis player Naresh Kumar during Khel Samman 2016-2017 in Kolkata.   -  PTI

Hockey Olympian Gurbux Singh remembered the mutual respect and appreciation he shared with legendary footballer Chuni Goswami, who passed away on Thursday.

Gurbux, who came to Kolkata (then Calcutta) in 1957, said he used to frequent the Maidan to catch a glimpse of the legendary footballers, including Goswami. “In those days, when television was not there, people used to go and watch the stars in action. I also used to go and see top footballers like Chuni, P.K. (Banerjee), Sailen Manna and (T) Balram in action. It was the golden period of Indian football,” said Gurbux.

READ | Chuni Goswami, a ‘complete’ cricketer too!

“They also came and watched us play hockey. There was mutual appreciation for each other.”

Gurbux went down memory lane to recall his interactions with Chuni. “We used to meet regularly in different clubs and he was a fine human being. When I was the secretary of the Bengal Hockey Association for about 18 years, I used to call him, P.K. and other sportspersons, such as tennis player Akhtar Ali, to our annual prize distribution function and honour them. After all, we are all sportspersons.

“Everybody has to go (someday). That’s the way the world goes. I feel sad to lose Chuni,” said Gurbux.

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