Fortunato Franco, one of India’s heroes during their gold medal-winning squad during the 1962 Jakarta Asian Games, passed away on Monday. At the domestic level, he played for Tata Football Club and also captained Maharashtra in the Santosh Trophy for eight consecutive years from 1959 to 1966.
Fortunato Franco, one of India’s finest midfielders in the golden era between 1960-64 has been, breathed his last, on Monday evening, at the age of 84. Although he was part of India’s Olympics squad at the 1960 Rome Games, Franco did not get to play a single game.
However, he was an integral part of the Indian team that claimed the gold medal at the 1962 Asian Games, in Jakarta. It was in the gold medal fixture of the event that the Indians played one of its greatest ever football matches, defeating South Korea 2-1 in front of 1,00,000 spectators.
At the domestic level, he played for the Tata Football Club, in Mumbai, during his heydays. On the other hand, Franco captained Maharashtra in the Santosh Trophy for eight consecutive years between 1959 and 1966. SS Hakim, also part of India’s squad at the 1960 Rome Olympics teammate expressed condolences after the demise of his former teammate.
“Apart from being an outstanding player, Franco was a perfect gentleman and was one of the favourites of my father for his skills, integrity and team spirit. Obviously, the high-point of his career was being a member of the gold-medal-winning Indian team in the 1982 Asian Games. He truly deserved the Arjuna Award but unfortunately never considered for it,” said Fortunato Franco, as reported by Sportstar.