Carlton Chapman, a Hitler who attacked the midtider, a hattrick for East Bengal to cut off the reputation of Al Zawra of Iraq, died on Monday after a heart attack. The former captain of India, Chapman, was 49.
Everyone called him ‘chap’ and he responded with a smile, a high-five and often a hug. If he had seen a journalist heading to East Bengal or Mohun Bagan clubs, the chap would have stopped and offered it, which is now separated by a road in the name of Leslie Claudius. So full of Joey de Vivre that you shared a short ride with him if it was something rubbed off on you.
It was the chap who literally chose Bhaichung Bhutia in his first East Bengal game. Stardom embraced Bhutia in a way he had never given to Chapman, but with Bruno Coutinho, Randy Singh, IM Vijayan, Tajinder Kumar, Tusshar Rakshit and Joe Paul Enchery, both an integral part of India’s team in the 1990s Were part.
Randy Singh interrupted his training in Imphal, saying, “We were like brothers.” “I was with him in East Bengal for three years. He was my senior at TFA (Tata Football Academy) and my captain in East Bengal. He was a leader who did not lead to talk, but showed how good he was on the ground. As a junior in East Bengal, he helped me. Raman (Vijayan), Frankie (Barreto), Bhaichung, Soso (Somatai Shayja) chap, we played together and were very close. When we were in touch during coaching in Shillong (in Wahingdoh).
“The last time was in Delhi two years ago when Bruno, he, IM Vijayan, Anchiri, Bhaichung played a legend friendly role,” said Singh, a former international midfielder who added that Robbie Fowler would be an assistant in SC. East Bengal in ISL7.
Football from Austin Town in Bangalore (now Bengaluru) chose Chap. The suburb is also known as Ferdinand Kittel Nagar, but for Chap it was always Austin Town. He was proud of his roots in a place that has produced several international matches for his brother Noel Wilson from the 1948 Olympic team through Ulaganathan. The field in which the chap learned the ropes is named after international goalkeeper Nandan.
Chap entered Tata Football Academy in 1991 and joined East Bengal in 1993. He was a thin, fair-complex cheater in East Bengal; Their Asian Cup Winners’ Cup first round opponents Al Zawra’a anything but. They were the champions of Iraq, winning the domestic league and cup. Coming to Kolkata was Ahmed Radhi who scored in the 1986 World Cup. On 6 October 1993, East Bengal won 6–2 — Chapman’s searing run left the Iraqi giants chasing a crooked shadow.
It was the beginning of a productive career that led Chap to the JCT, forcing the team that ruled the home circuit from 1995–1997 under Sukhwinder Singh’s subtle coaching. The chap also represented FC Cochin, the team was founded in 1997, promising to usher in an era of professionalism. He returned to East Bengal in 1998, playing for the Red-and-Golds until he won the National Football League in 2001. Along with East Bengal, he gave every trophy to Indian football. He could not play the Federation Cup because Chap went to JCT and added his trophy to the cabinet.
He made a different career in India from 1993 to 2001, and was the captain of the team that won the 1997 SAFF Championship. With goals from Bhutia, Echery, IM Vijayan (2) and Amit Das, India beat Maldives 5–1 in the final, including a 2–2 draw in the group league. Chap scored six goals in 39 matches for India. He did well in the Santosh Trophy and won it three times with Bengal besides representing Punjab and Karnataka. Coach Chap made a comeback to TFA and worked at Wahingdoh, Bhawanipur FC and Sudeva.
Since Kovid-19 disrupted life, football in India has lost some of what had passed between PK Banerjee, Chunni Goswami, Manitombi Singh and now. he will be missed.
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