Former Indian football captain Carlton Chapman dies of cardiac arrest at 49

“It came as a shock when I was informed about his passing away. It is a big loss,” former Indian striker IM Vijayan told The New Indian Express

Published: 12th October 2020 01:36 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th October 2020 05:50 PM   |  A+A-

Carlton Chapman, former India captain

Carlton Chapman, former India captain

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Carlton Chapman, former India captain, took his last breath in Bengaluru on Monday. He was 49 and died of cardiac arrest after complaining of back pain early morning.

After having started his career at SAI Centre in Bengaluru, the footballer represented Southern Blues and then was part of the Tata Football Academy in 1990. His passing and creative skills caught the eye of many and gradually rose in ranks in the coming years. He went on to play for top clubs of the country including East Bengal, JCT Mills  and FC Kochin.

It was in JCT Mills that the midfielder formed the famous partnership alongside IM Vijayan and Bhaichung Bhutia, also helping the club win the first ever National Football League in 1997 as well. He also won the Federation Cup, IFA Shield and Durand Cup in 1996.

Titles followed wherever he went, including the Durand Cup with FC Kochin and a trophy laden career with East Bengal. Although not known for his scoring prowess, Chapman struck four times in East Bengal's stunning 6-2 win over Iraq's Al Zawra in an Asian Cup Winners' Cup match in 1993.

IM Vijayan was heartbroken after learning about Chapman’s unfortunate death. The striker was a close friend with Chapman, who played with him in JCT, FC Kochin and the national team. “It came as a shock when I was informed about his passing away. It is a big loss,” IM Vijayan told The New Indian Express.

“If you talk about his skills in the game, he was a quality midfielder, one of the best that I have played with. And I had a great understanding with him on the football pitch, which resulted from years of playing together. I did not have to tell him where I would love the ball; such was the kind of understanding.”

Besides his glorious career in club football, the Bengaluru man was known for his massive contribution to Indian football, regarded as the backbone of the midfield then. He led India to SAFF Championship Trophy in 1997, and was also part of the victorious Men in Blue team when they won the SAF Games in 1995, Nehru Cup in 1997 among other titles.

One of Chapman’s senior teammates and friend, Bruno Coutinho touched upon his personality, where he was one of the most loved players in the team with his 'great smile'. “I have lost my friend. It is a great loss to the football community and India.  He was a happy go lucky person and on the field, he always had that great smile on his face. Everybody loved him, a very humble guy. He was a very hard working guy as well. He always used to motivate one and all, ask them to cheer up and so on,” he said.

After his retirement in 2001, he has managed teams like Tata Football Academy, Bhawanaipore FC, Students Union among others. He was working as the technical director of Quartz FC in Kozhikode from 2017.

All India Football Federation (AIFF) also condoled the untimely demise of Chapman.


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