Former East Bengal defender Proloy Saha, who was a regular partner of V.P.Sathyan in the India national team during the early years of 1990's, passed away in Odisha on Thursday after his car met with an accident in Jajpur. He was 47.
Saha, who lived in Kolkata, had gone for a vacation with his family and neighbours and was on his way to Puri when the accident took place. The car lost its control as the driver tried to save a cow, a witness was quoted as saying. The accident took six lives with Saha's daughter being hospitalized with serious injuries.
The defender was a pivotal part of the India team which won the Gold Cup in 1993 and finished runners-up in 1995. The Gold Cup was later rechristened as the SAFF Championship.
He was also a regular starter for East Bengal in 1993, the season which saw the emergence of a certain Bhaichung Bhutia in the Red and Gold colours. He joined Steel Authority of India (SAIL) in 1995, which brought the curtain down on his career in mainstream Indian football.
While Saha was not involved with football after his retirement from the game, Indian football will remain indebted to him for his role in the nation's success in the first edition of the SAFF Cup.