Former India centre forward Krishna Kumar Pal, known as ‘Keshto Pal’, died on Wednesday morning after a prolonged illness.

Pal, 78, was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and was admitted at the SSKM Hospital on October 10. He breathed his last around 6.55 am there today, sources in Mohun Bagan, his former club, said.

A bachelor, Pal lived with his relatives at Shyamnagar in North 24 Parganas district.

A prolific goal scorer in the 1950s, Pal was part of the Indian football team in two Olympics: Helsinki in 1952 and Melbourne in 1956. He also represented India in the Asian Games.

In the 1956 Games, Pal played a stellar role under captain Samar (Badru) Banerjee in guiding India to the semi-finals.

Pal had once been the number one Indian striker, famous for his clinical headers and powerful shooting abilities.

“I still vividly remember his goal against Myanmar.

Playing for IFA, he scored a brilliant header from about 10 feet above the ground. It was simply exceptional,” said P. K. Banerjee, who was Pal’s teammate in 1956 Olympics.

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