Kolkata : Former East Bengal player and the first coach of the Indian women’s football team Sushil Bhattacharya died at a nursing home here on Saturday following old age complications.
East Bengal club sources said Bhattacharya, 90, became the outfit’s first coach in 1961, and guided the club to the Calcutta Football League and IFA Shield titles that year.
Born in 1924, Bhattacharya joined East Bengal as a footballer in 1945, and played with distinction till 1948. He also turned out for Eastern Railway during his playing career that lasted till 1956.
As coach, Bhattacharya mentored players like Pradip Banerjee, popularly known as PK, Tulsidas Balaram, Bhaskar Ganguly, Sudhir Karmakar, Krishanu De, Subhash Bhowmick and Gautam Sarkar.
In 1975, Bhattacharya started women’s football in India, becoming the first coach of the national women’s football team.
He retired from coaching in 2008.