MEDAL WINNERS FROM INDIA

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P. K. Banerjee

Pradip Kumar Banerjee (born 23 June 1936) or P. K. Banerjee as he is called often, is a distinguished former Indian footballer and football coach. He made 84 appearances for India, scoring 65 goals during the course of his career. He was one of the first recipients of Arjuna Award, when the awards were instituted in 1961. He was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri in 1990 and was named Indian Footballer of the 20th century by IFFHS. In 2004, he was awarded the FIFA Order of Merit, the highest honour awarded by FIFA. Early life Pradip Kumar Banerjee was born on 23 June 1936, in Jalpaiguri in Bengal Presidency (now West Bengal). He studied in Jalpaiguri Zilla School and completed his schooling from K.M.P.M. School in Jamshedpur. Career At the age of 15, Banerjee represented Bihar in Santosh Trophy, playing in the right wing. In 1954 he moved on to Kolkata and joined Aryan. Later he moved on to represent Eastern Railway. He made his debut for the national team in the 1955 Quadrangular tournament in Dacca (presently Dhaka), East Pakistan (now capital of Bangladesh) at the age of 19. He represented India in three Asian Games namely, the 1958 Asian Games in Tokyo, the 1962 Asian Games in Jakarta, where India clinched the gold medal in football and then the 1966 Asian Games in Bangkok. He was part of the national team that played at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne. He captained India at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, where he scored an equalizer against France in a 1-1 draw. He represented India thrice at the Merdeka Cup in Kuala Lumpur, where India won silver medal in 1959 and 1964 and bronze in 1965. Recurring injuries forced him to drop out of the national team and subsequently to his retirement in 1967. Managerial career P. K. Bannerjee's first stint at coaching came with the East Bengal Football Club. He guided Mohan Bagan Athletic Club to a historic feat, winning the IFA Shield, Rovers Cup and Durand Cup respectively to achieve their first-ever triplecrown triumph in one season. He became the national coach in 1972, starting with the qualifying matches of the 1972 Munich Olympics. He went on to coach the Indian Football Team till 1986. He joined the Tata Football Academy.

 

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