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Pannalal Chatterjee: The Indian Football Fan Who Went to 10 FIFA World Cups, Dies Aged 86

Pannalal Chatterjee with his wife Chaitali (Photo Credit: PTI)

Pannalal Chatterjee with his wife Chaitali (Photo Credit: PTI)

Pannalal Chatterjee, who went to 10 FIFA World Cups with his wife Chaitali, passed away at the age of 86.

Pannalal Chatterjee, who is considered one of the biggest fans of football in India, passed away at the age of 86. Chatterjee and his wife Chaitali have been ardent fans of the game and have travelled for 10 editions of the FIFA World Cup.

Pannalal and Chaitali Chatterjee based out of Kolkata, had seen their first live match in the year 1982. The elderly couple got hooked to the sport after their friend in 1982 offered the couple to accompany him to visit Spain and watch a match of the FIFA World Cup. They watched a game during the 1982 edition and since then there has never been looking back.

The couple supported the Brazilian team. In 1994, during the United States of America FIFA World Cup, Brazilian football player Pele on saw them on their way to New Jersey and said, "You have come again". He got a photograph clicked with the elderly Bengali couple. This till date remains one of the most special moments in their life, Pannalal had revealed.

I-League took to Twitter to post a moving tribute to the football fan: "Indian Football will miss Pannalal Chatterjee, one of the most ardent football fans across India. Rest in peace"



Speaking to the Bridge, Chaitali said: "Panna was sick for some time now. Last week he caught a pretty serious fever and found himself unable to move. On Thursday, he was admitted to the hospital. Clearly, age caught up with his health. The doctors tried their best but weren't able to save him. My husband lived a good life and the memories we have will stay forever".
first published:December 17, 2019, 14:48 IST