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Former Football Goalkeeper Celestine passes away
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Former Football Goalkeeper Celestine passes away

Agency News

Chennai, July 9 : Former India and Tamil Nadu Football goalkeeper and coach A U Celestine died here on Tuesday after a brief illness. He was 73.

He is survived by his wife and a son. He was hospitalised for about two weeks and he breathed his last on early this morning. The funeral mass will take place at St.Joseph's Church, Kodungaiyur and the burial at St.Roque's Cemetry in Washermenpet. Former General Secretary of Tamilnadu Football Association and Chennai Football Association B Ravikumar David, who knew him from his childhood days, said he was extremely sad to heart about the demise of Celestine.

He said Abisekam Uthirinathan Celestine was a student of the Don Bosco – St.Gabriel's High School at Broadway, when he was spotted to play the role of Goalkeeper for the School team, when the regular goal keeper was injured. Celestine was a member of Don Bosco Youth Centre (DBYC) at Broadway from his school days and his early football playing days were at the DBYC (earlier known as Don Bosco Oratory). The 1962 Schools Nationals at Manipur gave him more interest in the Keeper's job. He won the Inter District title with Madras”B” in the next year. He was a regular for the State Junior team.

Celestine played for the State (Tamilnadu) in the Senior Nationals. He was the Goal keeper of the Tamilnadu team which lost the Semifinal berth in 1965, Hyderabad Nationals by draw of lots and 1969 Bangalore Nationals by toss of coin. He represented India in the Merdeka Cup at Malaysia in 1969. He joined the RBI in 1967 and played for many years.

He served as a coach for the Tamilnadu State teams, Junior, Sub Junior and Women. He was a Spotter of All India Football Federation. He regularly trained the underprivileged children in North Madras area in Football and helped in their education. (UNI)