Former Indian footballer and coach T.K. Chathunni dies at 75

He was considered one of the finest coaches in Indian football, with over four decades of experience as both player and coach.

Update: 2024-06-12 10:20 GMT

T.K Chathunni, renowned coach and former Indian international, passes away. (Photo Credit: X)

Former Indian international and renowned coach T.K. Chathunni, aged 75, has passed away due to cancer, the AIFF confirmed on Wednesday. He had been treated at a private hospital in Kochi. Chathunni is survived by his wife and two daughters.

Members of the Kerala State Football Association mourned the death of Chathunni, whose impact on the game spanned over four decades as both a player and a coach.

During his professional football career, he had successful stints as a defender, playing for Services, Goa, and Kerala in the prestigious National Football Championship-Santosh Trophy. He also represented Secunderabad, EME Centre, and Vasco Club from Goa.

Furthermore, he played for the national team in six matches and was a member of the 1973 Merdeka Football Championship held in Kuala Lumpur.

He gained more popularity for his coaching stints post his playing days, coaching teams like Mohun Bagan, FC Cochin, and Dempo SC. He trained and mentored Kerala legends such as Jo Paul Ancheri and IM Vijayan.

Chathunni successfully led Mohun Bagan to their maiden National Football League title in 1997-98 and won the Federation Cup in 1997 with Salgaocar FC.

Current AIFF President Kalyan Chaubey condoled his demise, stating, “Chathunni was a dependable defender and later a top-class coach. I extend my sincerest condolences to his family at this time of sorrow.”

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also expressed his condolences, recalling Chathunni's brilliance both as a player and a coach.

Chathunni authored a book titled “Football My Soul,” an autobiography of his life and career in football.

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