Fortunato Franco, a former India international footballer, died on May 10 in Goa at the age of 84. Read more about Indian Football here.
The Goan footballer was also a key member of the Indian football team that won gold at the Asian Games in Jakarta in 1962. He had scored the assist for Jarnail Singh’s goal in the final match against South Korea in Jakarta.
Franco was born in 1937 in Colvale, Goa. He moved to Mumbai with his family when he was six years old. In the Santosh Trophy, he represented Maharashtra and captained the state team. He also played for Western Railways and Tata Football Club in Mumbai. He also played for Salgaocar, a Goan football club. At the Olympiad in Rome, the midfielder made his international debut.
In 1960, at the Rome Olympics, the midfielder made his international debut.
AIFF Members Condoles The Former Indian International’s Death
“It is shocking to learn that Mr. Fortunato Franco is no more. His contribution to Indian football will be remembered for a long time. I’m in the same boat,” All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel said, condoling the former Indian international’s death. He was a part of India’s golden generation of football players. He helped the country win the Asian Games gold medal in 1962.
“Mr. Fortunato Franco will be alive in his achievements. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family. We hope for the repose of his soul,” said AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das. He was a key figure in India’s Gold Medal victory at the 1962 Asian Games. He was a prolific footballer who served as an inspiration to many generations.
Franco’s acting career was cut short in 1966 owing to a knee injury. Before that, he had made more than 50 appearances for the Indian national team.
Following his retirement from football, Franco worked as a senior manager of public relations with the Tata Group. Since retiring from the military in 1999, he returned to Goa.
The death of Fortunato Franco is without a doubt a huge tragedy for the Indian football community.