The end of an era: Former Indian football captain Carlton Chapman passes away at the age of 49


In a shocker, former Indian captain Carlton Chapman has met an untimely demise at the age of 49 owing to a heart attack at his Bengaluru residence.

Chapman was at the core of Indian football’s lethal trio that comprised of the like of Baichung Bhutia, I.M Vijayan, and him. The former stalwart was an integral part of the blues from 1995-2001 and even captained the side before announcing his retirement in 2002.

The entire footballing fraternity has come forward to pay their condolences to this footballing giant of the yesteryears.

A look back at Chapman’s heroics-

A product of the Tata Football Academy in the early 1990s, Chapman joined East Bengal in 1993 and scored a hat-trick in his team’s 6-2 win against Iraq club Al Zawra in a first-round match at the Asian Cup Winners Cup that year.

However, that was merely a glimpse of the magic that was to follow.

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During his spell at JCT Mills, the team won 14 tournaments, with a team that had I. M. Vijayan and Baichung Bhutia, both of whom are regarded as India’s all-time greats. It was at this time that Chapman was at the peak of his powers and formed the most lethal of attacking combos with the other two greats.

After one season with FC Kochin in 1997–98, Chapman returned to his former club East Bengal in 1998, leading them to a memorable one-point win over arch-rivals Mohun Began.

On the national front too the creative midfielder brought laurels for himself and the nation, leading India to a SAFF Cup victory in 1997.

After a successful professional career lasting more than a decade,  Chapman hung his boots in 2002 before venturing into the field of coaching.

His managerial endeavours included the likes of Tata Football Academy as well as the Indian U-19 team.

A smile that won over millions-

Former teammates and colleagues have come forward to state their condolences as well as share their memories with the great.

Close friend I.M. Vijayan stated that Chapman was a once-in-a-generation talent. “Chapman is one of the greatest footballers that India has seen. Krishanu Dey was the best midfielder from his generation, and Chapman was one of the best from our generation,” Vijayan said.

Carlton Chapman represented how sports should always be played as.

With a smile on your face

with grit in your mind.

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