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IANS

Former Indian football team captain Samar 'Badru' Banerjee passed away on Saturday in Kolkata.

Popularly known as 'Badru Banerjee' among his teammates and fans alike, the footballer had captained the national team to a fourth-placed finish in the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games, which also included a famous 4-2 victory against hosts Australia in the quarterfinals.

Banerjee played a total of nine matches for the Blue Tigers, and scored three goals for the country. At the domestic level, he had won the Santosh Trophy with Bengal in 1953, and also captained the state in 1956.

Being a legend at Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan, Badru Banerjee played for the Green and Maroons between 1952 to 1960, and scored a total of 78 goals for the club, winning five Calcutta Football League titles (1954, 1955, 1956, 1959, 1960), three IFA Shields (1954, 1956, 1959), three Durand Cups (1953, 1959, 1960), one Rovers Cup (1955), and much more.

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) condoled the demise of Banerjee.

"It's sad to hear that Badru-da, one of India's Greatest Footballers, is no more. His contribution to Indian Football will never be forgotten. I share the grief. He will stay synonymous with the golden generation of Indian Football. Badru-da, you will remain alive in our hearts," said AIFF acting general secretary Sunando Dhar.

"Badru da will be alive for his achievements. He was a legendary footballer and someone who has been an inspiration to so many generations. May he Rest in Peace," he added.

As a mark of respect, a one- minute silence will be observed in the Durand Cup matches in Imphal and Kolkata on Saturday.

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