Pradip Kumar Banerjee (P. K. Banerjee) is a former Indian Football player who played as a striker. He even captained the national side during the 1960 Olympics and coached the team after his retirement. He played 45 matches for the national team and found the net 15 times between 1955-1966.
PK Banerjee was born in Kolkata, West Bengal on 23rd June 1936. He first played in 1951 for the Bengal State team. Later in 1954, he joined Kolkata based club Aryan FC (also known as Techno Aryan Football Club). He made 22 appearances that year and scored 10 goals. The following year, he signed for Eastern Railways FC and went on to make 224 appearances and scored a record of 91 goals. He was regarded as one of the best players of the mid 19th century.
He had coached the national team twice, the first one being between 1972-81 and the second one was in 1985 for a short duration.
He scored his first international goal against Ceylon on 18th December 1955 in East Pakistan and ended up with 5 goals in the 1955 Colombo Cup. He even starred in India's win against Australia in a friendly match held in Sydney.
Asian Games Gold Medal - 1962
Merdeka Tournament Silver Medal - 1959 & 1964
He was awarded the Lifetime Award in 2011 during the Bharat Nirman Awards Function
Padma Shri - 1990
Arjuna Award - 1961
He was named as the Indian Footballer of 20th Century by IFFHS.
FIFA Order of Merit (highest honour by FIFA) - 2004
He was even awarded the FAIR PLAY AWARD and is the only player from Asia to achieve this feat.
PK Banerjee passed away on 20th March 2020 after suffering from a chest infection for quite some time. We'll miss this true legend.
All of us at Sports4All mourn the loss of Pradip Kumar Banerjee. RIP