The former captain of East Bengal Football Club, Santo Mitra passed away on Sunday morning after suffering from throat cancer, said his family. Mitra was 75. He lived with his daughter and wife.
“He was battling throat cancer since 2009, the year he was crowned as Kolkata Sheriff… He passed away at 7.20 am,” said a family source.
The former East Bengal left-back represented the club from 1965-1972 and won one of the top tournaments in the country for the club. He was made the captain of the club in 1970 when they won the IFA Shield after defeating Iran’s Pas Club and then the Durand Cup defeating arch-rivals Mohun Bagan.
Mitra, who never got the opportunity to play for Indian squad received popularity for the India squad for the 1968 Merdeka Cup. Mitra was also conferred with East Bengal’s Lifetime Achievement award in 2012.
His role in the sport doesn’t end with him being just a player, as a coach, he played a contributory role during the 1984 Nehru Cup, when he was the assistant coach along with Karnataka’s Amjad Khan under Yugoslavian Ciric Milovan. Mitra was the football project director during the 2002 Asian Games.
“He was a gentleman to the core, a great human. I have not seen him play but have heard about his achievements… May his soul rest in peace,” former Indian captain Biswajit Bhattacharya said in his condolence message.