Former East Bengal footballer Kalia Kulothungan, who was part of their famous ASEAN Cup winning squad passed away after he encountered a tragic road accident in his hometown of Thanjavur.
Aged 40, he also played for Mohun Bagan and also Mohammedan Sporting Club and was presently plying his trade for another Kolkata based club, Bhawanipore FC. The midfielder was part of the Red and Gold brigade during their golden period in which they won the prestigious ASEAN Cup in 2003 and also back to back I-Leagues in 2002-03 and 2003-04. Kulothungan also led the Tamil Nadu side in the Santosh Trophy.
During his stay at East Bengal, he was used by coach Subhash Bhowmick strategically in most of the matches. Alvito D’cunha, who played alongside him for a long time recalls what a gifted football he was. “It’s a big loss for his family. He was a brilliant player in his prime. Subhash Bhowmick used to use him as a trump card. A player with a gifted first touch,” said a dejected Alvito.
After a brief spell with Viva Kerala, Kulothungan returned to the Kolkata Maidan in 2012 and joined Bhawanipore FC in 2012. At present, the club was being managed by Subrata Bhattacharya.
Henry Menezes, former Indian International and Jamshedpur FC player Ishfaq Ahmed posted on Twitter about the sad incident.
Shocked to hear that Kalia Kulothungan the talented footballer from #Tamilnadu played for @eastbengalfc #MahindraUnited died in a road accident. Let us pray that the almighty gives strength to his family to bear this big loss 🙏🙏🙏 pic.twitter.com/3IMr2IoRmT
— Henry Menezes (@menezeshenry) July 28, 2018
A successful player in his prime, he is one of many players from South India who played his football in Kolkata. Although, he never reached the heights like Mohammed Habib, Mohammad Akbar or I M Vijayan, yet he was a smart footballer and he will definitely be missed in Indian Football.