Former India midfielder and the nation’s first-ever full time football coach, Amal Dutta, breathed his last on Sunday, after being bed-ridden for the past few months due to age-related illness. Dutta played for India at the 1954 Asian Games and was most famous for pioneering coaching in India.
After playing for East Bengal for almost a decade as a mid-fielder, Amal Dutta turned to coaching, his first responsibility being the Railways side in the Santosh Trophy and then East Bengal in 1963. He made the boldest move of his managerial career by deciding to quit his job in the Railways and take up full-time coaching, the first to do so in India. A humble man, Dutta was the brain-child behind the 4-1-2-1-2- Diamond system that Mohun Bagan had implemented in the late 1990s, enjoying great success with it.
Mohun Bagan paid homage to the man, saying,"He was an institution in himself. We shall miss you. May his soul rest in peace," PTI reported.
Also paying tribute was legendary footballer and former India team-mate PK Banerjee. "He took sport to a different level during his playing days at East Bengal, Mohun Bagan and India. He fought till the end”.
In an official release on the organization’s website, AIFF President Praful Patel said, "It is sad to hear that Mr. Amal Datta is no more. His contribution to Indian Football will never be forgotten. I share the grief."
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote on Twitter: "Saddened at the passing away of Amal Dutta. Football world will miss him. It's a great loss. My condolences to his family and friends”.
Dutta is survived by his son Ashish and daughter Anita.
May his soul rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/mULbROWC5Z— Mohun Bagan (@Mohun_BaganAC) July 10, 2016