Former India football player and member of the 1962 Asian Games gold medal-winning team D. Ethiraj passed away in Bengaluru on Friday. He was 87.

The centre-forward was part of the Chuni Goswami-led Indian side that beat Korea Republic 2-1 in the final in Jakarta. That remains India’s last success in football at the Asiad. The period from 1951 to 1962 is remembered as the golden era of Indian football, when under the tutelage of Syed Abdul Rahim, India was ranked among the best in Asia.

Ethiraj represented the Services in the Santosh Trophy from 1958 to 1962. His five goals were instrumental in the side’s maiden Santosh Trophy triumph in 1960-61 in which it beat defending champion Bengal in the final.

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From 1962 to 1965 he played for the erstwhile Mysore state, and led the team in the 1965 edition in…

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