Former Indian soccer player O Chandrasekharan, popularly known as Olympian Chandrasekharan in his home state of Kerala, died in Kochi on Tuesday at the age of 86. He had had dementia for about ten years.
Chandrasekharan, who played as a defender, was a member of the Indian team at the 1960 Rome Olympics, the last time the country competed in football at the Games. India kept France 1-1 in one game, thanks to Chandrasekharan and his defensive partners. His death comes just days after the death of SS Hakim, another member of that Olympic team.
According to Jarnail Singh, the serenity and solidity that O Chandrasekhar offered on the right made his work much easier. He played for Caltex FC and was an integral part of the national team between 1960 and 1964. His performance against Japan at the 1962 Asian Games was remarkable. #Indianfootball pic.twitter.com/aJ2OxoKq2T
– IndianFootball_History (@IndianfootballH) October 15, 2018
Chandrasekharan was also part of Indian teams that won gold at the Asian Games in 1962, silver at the AFC Asian Cup in 1964 and silver at the Merdeka tournament (1959 and 1964). He played alongside some of the biggest names in Indian football such as PK Banerjee, Chuni Goswami, Tulsidas Balaraman, Simon Sunderraj, Peter Thangaraj, Jarnail Singh and Mariappa Kempaiah.
We are saddened by the death of former Indian soccer player and Olympian O Chandrasekharan. He took part in the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome and won the gold medal at the 1962 Asian Games.
Chandrasekharan was a defender and was captain of the Indian team on several occasions. RIP Olympic Champion. pic.twitter.com/tvptA8rJK4
– Gokulam Kerala FC (@GokulamKeralaFC) August 24, 2021
Chandrasekharan was born in Irinjalakuda in the Thrissur district, refined his football skills at Maharaja’s College in Ernakulam and played for Caltex in Mumbai from 1956. After retiring 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 1963 Santosh Trophy national championship.