Chennai: Former East Bengal midfielder Kalia Kulothungan was on Saturday killed in a road accident in his hometown Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu.
It is learnt that around 2 am on Saturday, Kulothungan's bike crashed against an iron fence and he died on the spot. He was 40.
A talented central midfielder who also played as a winger, 'Kulo', as he was fondly referred to in Kolkata Maidan circuit, was best known for his three-year stint at East Bengal from 2002 to 2005.
He was a part of East Bengal's ASEAN Cup winning side in 2003 and was also a member of the squad that won back-to-back I-League (NFL) titles.
He later played two seasons for Mohammedan Sporting and Mohun Bagan apart from Mumbai FC and Viva Kerala.
However, post his stint with East Bengal, he was never the same player as his form dipped and he wasn't able to settle down in any club.
He was one of the better footballers to have come from Tamil Nadu and also captained the state in Santosh Trophy. He last played competitive football in the second division I-League for Bhowanipore Club.
India captain Sunil Chhetri, who had played a lot against and a few matches with Kulo, expressed his shock.
Really upsetting to hear about the passing away of Kalia Kulothungan. He was one of the best ball players I've played alongside. Let's never take life for granted.
— Sunil Chhetri (@chetrisunil11) July 28, 2018
Former India and Kerala Blasters striker CK Vineeth also sent his condolences.
Extremely upsetting to hear about Kalia Kulothungan - he was taken too soon from all of us. Rest in peace, Anna. You will be missed! pic.twitter.com/G6TzEGGCk8
— CK Vineeth (@ckvineeth) July 28, 2018
Mohun Bagan and Mohammedan Sporting club also sent their condolence messages.
"We are deeply saddened with the news of the sudden demise of our club ex-football Player Kalia Kulothungan due to a road accident.
"We extend our deepest sympathies to the bereaved family. We pray to almighty to bestow his family members solace and courage to fight from this untimely and irreparable loss. May his soul rest in peace," Mohun Bagan secretary Anjan Mitra said.
Updated Date: Jul 28, 2018 23:52:38 IST