Goal.com condoles the demise of former India Captain Sailendra Nath Manna, who passed away on Monday at the age of 87. He is survived by his wife and daughter.
Manna had made his debut for the National team in the London Olympics in 1948 against France and captained India to the Asian Games Gold medal in Delhi in 1951 before leading the team out in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics.
He was conferred the Padma Shri in 1971 and was then recognised as the All India Football Federation’s Player of the Millennium in 2000. The defender is also the sole Asian to be named among the 10 best Captains in the World by the English FA in 1953.
Manna represented India in 14 International matches overall and was also the first Indian footballer to lead India in two Asian Games in a row. He went on to coach the National team in the 1961 and 1968 Merdeka Cup.
At the domestic level, Manna won the Calcutta Football League, the Durand Cup, the IFA Shield and the Rovers Cup with Mohun Bagan. He stays the most successful captain for Bengal in the Santosh Trophy.
Praful Patel, the President of the AIFF in his message said, “It’s sad to hear that Sailen Manna, one of our greatest footballers is no more. His contribution to Indian Football will never be forgotten. I share the grief.”
Kushal Das, the General Secretary of the AIFF added, “Sailen Manna will be alive in his achievements. He was a legendary footballer and someone who has been the inspiration of so many generations. May he rest in Peace.”
As a mark of respect, the AIFF flag shall fly at half mast at the AIFF Headquarters, the Football House in Dwarka, New Delhi. The Indian National Football Team will also be wearing black armbands in their International Friendly against Azerbaijan.