Former Indian International footballer Brahmanand Shankwalkar will be honoured with the Padma Shri award for contribution in the field of sports, the home ministry announced today ahead of 73rd Republic Day.
Known as one of the finest goalkeepers ever to grace the Indian football team, Brahmanand Sagoon Kamat Sankhwalakar was born on 6th March 1954 in Teleigao. Brahmanand fell in love with the lovely game of football at a very tender age after listening to stories from his father Seguna Sankhwalkar and Alvaro Pinto at a very tender age.
Brahmanand began his professional career in football at the Panvel Sports Club in 1971. He made his debut for the club against Goa SHipyard in a 6-3 win. He captained Panvel to its first Bandodkar Gold TRophy in 1974 when they beat SESA Goa in the final. In the same year, he signed for Goan First Division club Salgaocar. In his first season with the club, he went to win the league title.
The next season, Brahmanand was made the captain of the Salgaocar. Under his captaincy, Salgaocar lifted the renamed Goan Super League. With T. Shanmugam in the helm and Brahmanand at his peak, Salgaocar won 4 league titles between 1981-85. In 1988 Brahmanand won his first Federation cup title with Salgaocar. In the following year, Salgaocar became the first club outside Bengal to defend the Federation Cup successfully. Brahmanand successfully kept clean sheets in both the finals.
He added a Rovers Cup in his 17 year-long stay at Salgaocar before moving to Churchill Brothers. The Custodian played 4 years for the Red Machines before playing for his one last season with village club, Anderson Mariners.
After his brilliant performance at the club level, Brahmanand Sankhwalkar was first picked for the national side in 1975. The custodian took part in various tournaments and tours for the national team. Following India's successful Zambia Goodwill tour Sankhwalkar was given the nickname "Leopard". Brahmanand was made captain of the Indian team ahead of the 1983 Nehru Cup and led the team until 1986.
He finished his international with over 50 caps for the Blue Tigers. Sankhwalkar later became the goalkeeping coach of the national team in 1997. He held the position until 2005. He then coached the Indian under-23 side. After recognizing their contribution to Indian Football, he was then awarded the Arjuna Award by the government of India in 1997.