Legendary Sailen Manna no more

Former India captain Sailendra Nath Manna, better known as Sailen Manna and fondly called Mannada by the fraternity, died at 1.55 am earlier today at the AMRI hospital in Saltlake, Kolkata after a prolonged illness. He was 87 and is survived by his wife and daughter.

Sailen Manna was part of the golden era of Indian football when India used to represent Asia in the Olympics regularly. He captained India in the 1950s and was chosen as the AIFF Player-of-the-Milennium in 2000 and many years back in 1953 he had earned the destinction of being the sole Asian to be named among the 10 best Captains in the World by the English FA in 1953.

Known for his simple lifestyle, honesty and dedication to the game, Sailen Manna till a few years before his death remained an enthusiastic participant in social and charity programmes. Promoting football amongst the younger generation was one of the things he simply loved to do

As a mark of respect, the AIFF Flag flew at half mast at the AIFF Headquarters - Football House in Dwarka, New Delhi. The Indian National Football Team also wore a black armband in their international friendly against Azerbaijan with the match also starting with a minute of silence.

AIFF president Praful Patel in his message said, "It's sad to hear that Sailen Manna, one of the greatest footballers is no more. His contribution to Indian football will never be forgotten. I share the grief."

AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das said, "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."

Former India captain and coach P.K. Banerjee said "Mannada, who played in 1948 Olympics beside leading the country in the next one in 1952, was a colossus in the soccer field of the country. I had an opportunity to play with him. He was a father figure to all of us."

Current Mohun Bagan Technical Director Subrata Bhattacharya said, "Mannada was not only a great player, he was also our teacher. As a football player he was our idol."


SAILENDRA NATH MANNA (Date of Birth: 01.09.1924; Date of Death: 27.02.2012)

- International Debut: July 31 vs France (London Olympics)

- International Caps: Represented India in 14 internationals

- International Tournaments: Olympics - 1948, 1952 (Captain); Asian Games - 1951, 1954 (Captained both); Quadrangular (Colombo Cup): 1952, 1953, 1954 (Captained all)

- International Laurels: Gold Medal (1951 Asian Games); Champion in Quadrangular Cup (1952, 1953, 1954)

- State-level: Represented Bengal from 1944 to 1954 (No tournament in 1948); Bengal Captain from 1949-54; Won the Santosh Trophy in 1945, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1953

- Club-level: Howrah Union (1940-42); Mohun Bagan AC (1942-60; captain 1950-55)

- Trophies Won: Calcutta Football League (1943, 1944, 1951, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1959, 1960); IFA Shield (1947, 1954, 1956, 1960); Durand Cup (1953); Rovers Cup (1955)

- Awards: 1971 Padmashri; 2000 AIFF Player-of-the-Milennium; 2001 Mohun Bagan Ratna

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