Former India footballer O Chandrasekharan, popularly known as Olympian Chandrasekharan in his home state Kerala, died at the age of 86 in Kochi on Tuesday. He had been suffering from dementia for a decade or so.
Chandrasekharan, who played as a defender, was a member of the Indian team in the 1960 Rome Olympics, the last time the country participated in football at the Games. India famously held France 1-1 in a game, courtesy Chandrasekharan and his defensive partners. His death comes just days after SS Hakim, another one from that Olympics team, passed away.
According to Jarnail Singh, the poise & solidity offered by O Chandrasekhar at right back made his job a lot easier. He played for Caltex FC & was an integral part of national team between 1960 & 1964. His performance against Japan in 1962 Asian Games was notable. #Indianfootball pic.twitter.com/aJ2OxoKq2T
— IndianFootball_History (@IndianfootballH) October 15, 2018
Chandrasekharan was also part of Indian teams that won gold in the 1962 Asian Games, silver in the 1964 AFC Asian Cup, silver in the Merdeka Tournament (1959 and 1964). He played alongside some of the greatest names in Indian football like PK Banerjee, Chuni Goswami, Tulsidas Balaraman, Simon Sunderraj, Peter Thangaraj, Jarnail Singh, and Mariappa Kempaiah.
We are saddened by the demise of the former Indian football player and Olympian O Chandrasekharan. He participated in the 1960 Rome Olympics and won the gold medal in Asian Games 1962.
Chandrasekharan was a defender and has captained the Indian team several times. RIP Olympian. pic.twitter.com/tvptA8rJK4
— Gokulam Kerala FC (@GokulamKeralaFC) August 24, 2021
Born in Irinjalakuda in Thrissur district, Chandrasekharan honed his football skills at Maharaja’s College in Ernakulam and went on to play for Caltex in Mumbai from 1956. After his retirement from international football in 1966, he played for the State Bank of India. He was also the captain of the Maharashtra team that won the Santosh Trophy national championship in 1963.