Air India midfielder Soccer Velho died after complaining of “breathlessness” in the evening having played a practice game against India U-19s earlier in the day at the Chowgule ground, Goa. He died on his way to Hospicio Hospital.
Salgaocar FC youth team coach Joaquim Crasto had put together a team to face the India Colts on Saturday evening. The 29 year old reached his residence after the game and thereafter complained of chest pain and restlessness.
"He played the whole game without any problem. After his dinner and shower, he complained of feeling uneasy. Afterwards he suffered a heart attack. He was being taken to the hospital and died on the way," Dempo SC Joy Ferrao told Goal, who played with Velho in the practice game at Chowgule.
"I called several players to play a friendly game against the India U-19 side. He (Velho) was all fine in the game. It was just like any other normal day. I don't know what happened after he went home," said Crasto.
Velho is survived by his wife and one year old daughter.
“Soccor Velho had a job with Air India. We will speak to our seniors and see what we can do,” Air India official Joginder Thapa added.
Former Air India coach Bimal Ghosh, who spotted his talent when he was playing for Central Railway, said, “He was a good player, very speedy and was a terror on the right side. He used to miss many chances to score but he would reach the opposition box several times in the game. There are some players who stay in their position and play but he was unlike them. He would, like a striker, get into the box in a dangerous position to put pressure on the opponents. His only problem was whether he would convert or not but he would open up space for his strikers.”
Yusuf Ansari, the former Air India coach, offered his condolences and said, “He was a very good player. If you could motivate him, he was one of the best. Speed was his forte and he was a dedicated player. It is very unfortunate what has happened.”