File image of TK Chathunni

Former Kerala footballer TK Chathunni, who made a name for himself as a renowned coach, died on Wednesday at the age of 75 in Kochi following a brief illness, the All India Football Federation said. He is survived by his wife and two daughters. He was a top-rated defender during the 1960s and 1970s and also played for India during the Merdeka Tournament 1973 in Kuala Lumpur. Having featured in six international matches for India, he also played for clubs like EME Centre (Secundrabad), Vasco Club (Goa) and Orkay Mills (Mumbai), besides also featuring for Services in the National Football Championship for the Santosh Trophy.

But it was in coaching where he made a name for himself, having credited for unearthing talents like former greats IM Vijayan, Bruno Coutinho and Jo Paul Anchery among others.

As a coach, he helped Mohun Bagan win their maiden national league title, then NFL, during the 1997-98 season.

He also holds the distinction of coaching highest number of clubs in the country including that of FC Kochin, Salgaocar FC, Dempo Sports Club and Churchill Brothers.

He coached Kerala Santosh Trophy team, Kerala Police among others.

Describing Chathunni as a top class coach, AIFF president Kalyan Chaubey said: “Chathunni was a dependable defender and later a top-class coach. I extend my sincerest condolences to his family at this time of sorrow.” AIFF acting secretary general M Satyanarayan stated: “TK Chathunni was a reputed footballer of his time and continued to inspire footballers of later generations with his coaching. His death has created a void in Indian football.”

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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