Former Indian footballer and East Bengal legend died at a hospital in Kolkata on Thursday after a prolonged battle with COVID-19. He was 71.
Sengupta was part of the national team that won a bronze medal in the 1970 Asian Games.
"Lost veteran star footballer Surajti Sengupta today. Heart throb of football fans and an outstanding national sportsman as well as a perfect gentleman, he will ever be in our hearts. Deepest condolences," West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted.
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) February 17, 2022
Sengupta, who made his International debut on July 24, 1974, against Thailand in the Merdeka Cup in Kuala Lumpur went on to represent India in 14 international matches and scored one goal in the process – which was against Kuwait in the 1978 Asian Games.
He represented India in the Asian Games in 1974, and 1978, the Merdeka Cup in 1974, and the President’s Cup in 1977 in Seoul.
He began his club career with Khidirpore Club and played for Mohun Bagan for five years in 1972, 1973, and from 1981-83. As he went on to score 54 goals for the club, he helped them win the Rovers Cup in 1972 (joint-winners), and in 1981; the Federation Cup in 1981, and 1982, the Sait Nagjee Trophy in 1981, the Durand Cup in 1982 (joint-winners), the Darjeeling Gold Cup in 1982 (joint-winners), and the Calcutta League in 1983.
He also played for East Bengal from 1974-79, captaining the Red and Golds in 1978. He scored 92 goals for them and helped them win the Calcutta League in 1974, 1975, 1977, DCM Trophy in 1974, the IFA shield in 1974, 1975, 1976 (joint-winners), the Darjeeling Gold Cup in 1976 (joint winners), the Federation Cup in 1978 (joint-winners), the Rovers Cup in 1975, the Durand Cup, and the Bordoloi Trophy in 1978.
He also represented Mohammedan Sporting in 1980 and was part of the triumphant Sporting squad which won the Sikkim Gold Cup, the DCM Trophy, and the Rovers Cup (joint winners) that season.
Sengupta was part of the invincible Bengal Santosh Trophy squad in 1975, 1976, 1977, and in 1978, and scored 26 goals.
He was conferred with the East Bengal Club Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018.
All India Football Federation (AIFF) President Praful Patel condoled his death and described him as one of India’s most skillful wingers.
“It’s sad to hear that Surajit-da, one of the most skillful wingers in the history of Indian Football is no more. His invaluable contribution to Indian Football will always remain with us and never be forgotten. Indian Football has only got poorer. My condolences to his family. I share the grief,” Patel said.
Kushal Das, the General Secretary of AIFF said, “Surajit Sengupta will always remain alive in his achievements. He was an extremely crafty winger – someone who has been the inspiration for so many generations. My condolences to his family. May his soul rest in peace.”