Former Mohun Bagan keeper Shibaji Banerjee, who saved Pele's free kick, dies

Kolkata: Former Mohun Bagan goalkeeper Shibaji Banerjee today passed away at his Kolkata residence after suffering a massive cardiac arrest.

Representational image. Getty

Representational image. Getty

A green and maroon legend, Banerjee played for Bagan for 11 years and will always be known for stopping a free kick taken by Pele during the 1977 exhibition match against New York Cosmos.

The lasting image from that game was a black and white picture of Banerjee diving to snatch the ball from Pele's feet.

Banerjee also had a brilliant game in an IFA Shield match against top Russian side Ararat. Legend has it that he was unbeatable on aerial balls that particular day as the game was locked at 2-2.

In fact from 1977-1980, he never conceded a goal against arch-rival East Bengal.

A lot of people don't know that Banerjee was also a competent club level cricketer having scored a few runs at CAB first division league. He was a representative of Port Trust at various CAB meetings.

He was a senior officer in charge of recruitment at Port Trust. Post retirement, he served in various committees of Mohun Bagan club. He was there in the stands on Saturday watching Mohun Bagan's 3-1 win over DSK Shivajians.

The club's flag will remain half mast as a mark of respect for the departed soul.

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Updated Date: Feb 21, 2017 00:46:18 IST

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