Former Indian national team midfielder Carlton Chapman passed away in the early hours of Monday after suffering a heart attack. He was 49. A supremely talented attacking footballer of his time, Chapman was working as the technical director of Quartz Football Club in Kochi whom he had initially joined in 2017 as the manager.
The soft spoken Bangalorean was a product of the famed Tata Football Academy (TFA) in Jamshedpur who represented India internationally between 1993 and 2001, going on to eventually captain the side. At club level, he had two successful spells at Kolkata giants East Bengal, scoring a hat-trick for the club against Iraqi outfit Al Zawra in the Asian Cup Winners Cup.
However, his most successful stint was at JCT with whom he won 14 trophies, including the first National Football League in 1996-97 while playing alongside other big names in Indian football like IM Vijayan and Bhaichung Bhutia. He also went on to play for Kochin FC for one season before returning to East Bengal for his second spell in Kolkata.
"I got a call from Bengaluru from one of his friends that Chapman is no more. He passed away early this morning. He was a happy-go-lucky man, always smiling and ready to help others," Chapman's one-time India team-mate Bruno Coutinho told PTI from Goa.
His coaching credentials are equally impressive. Post retirement in 2004, he joined TFA as an instructor before moving on to become the manager at Royal Wahingdoh in Shillong, taking the side to three back-to-back Shillong Premier League titles. He eventually joined Quartz FC in 2017.
As tributes come pouring in from footballers past and present, we at The Bridge would like to offer our sincerest condolences as we look back at his impact on Indian football.