Former India football captain Babu Mani passes away at age of 59

Mani represented India in 55 international matches and was a part of the first Indian team that qualified for the AFC Asian Cup in 1984.

Abhishek SandikarAuthor

Updated - 21 November 2022 11:28 AM

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F ormer India captain Babu Mani passed away on Saturday, November 19 at the age of 59. Mani was one of most the skillful forwards of the 1980s. Mani made his international debut in 1984 during the Nehru Cup in Kolkata against the Argentina side that went on to win the World Cup two years later.


He represented India in 55 international matches and was a part of the first Indian team that qualified for the AFC Asian Cup in 1984. Mani in the coming years also became a two-time SAF Games gold medallist (1985 and 1987).


Mani was part of one of the greatest wins in Indian footballing history where the Blue Tigers registered a 4-0 victory against the Yemen Arab Republic at Kolkata in 1984 during the Asian Cup qualifiers. In that match, India also had four separate scorers - Prasanta Banerjee, Krishanu Dey, Babu Mani and Shabbir Ali


Babu Mani is also part of a select group of players who have played for all three major football clubs in Kolkata - Mohammedan Sporting, East Bengal and Mohun Bagan. He won the Federation Cup in 1983 with Mohammedan Sporting. He also won CFL, IFL Shield, Durand Cup, Rovers Cup, Federation Cup with Mohun Bagan, CFL Cup, IFA Shield, Durand Cup, and Rovers Cup with East Bengal.


AIFF President Mr Kalyan Chaubey said in his condolence message, "I am extremely sad to hear that Babu Mani, who was one of India's best footballers of his time, is no more. We will always remember him through his contribution to Indian Football. My thoughts go out to his family in this difficult hour."


Similarly, East Bengal also released a statement addressing the loss of Babu Mani, which said, “We, at #EastBengalFC, condole the demise of our former forward Babu Mani, who breathed his last yesterday at the age of 59.  The former India captain won the CFL and the Rovers Cup once each, and the IFA Shield and the Durand Cup twice each with us during his prolific career."

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