Former India gamers, together with Renedy Singh and Venkatesh Shanmugam, mourned the premature demise of their teammate Manitombi Singh and recalled him as a “fighter” on the pitch and a “good friend” off it. Manitombi, a former India and Mohun Bagan footballer, died aged 39 at his native village close to Imphal in Manipur on Sunday after affected by a protracted sickness. Manitombi Singh was part of the Blue Tigers facet that famously lifted the LG Cup in Vietnam 18 years in the past.
The total-back had additionally represented India within the 2002 Asian Video games in Busan.
“I used to be actually shocked to listen to of his demise. He was such an asset to Indian soccer,” stated his former India teammate Venkatesh, who’s now the nationwide staff assistant coach.
Defender Debjit Ghosh is somebody who not solely had performed alongside Manitombi within the nationwide staff, however had additionally captained the participant throughout their days at Mohun Bagan.
Expressing his shock on the latter’s premature demise, Ghosh gave some perception as to the form of uncooked expertise the Manipuri was, throughout his early days within the Nationwide Soccer League.
“I used to be very shocked to listen to that he had handed away. We may all do with some excellent news this yr, and this was actually not one among them. He was a pricey good friend off the pitch,” stated Ghosh.
Venkatesh added, “I had seen him put in some actually good performances on the pitch. He was an absolute fighter, however extra necessary was the consistency that he introduced in.”
“You already know that if he is there on the pitch, he will provide you with eight out of 10 each time. An absolute dedication participant,” he stated.
“As a defender, he was proper up there with Mahesh (Gawli), Deepak (Mondal) or Surkumar (Singh) as among the greatest defenders of that point.”
The character of Manitombi’s sickness was not clear and his relations didn’t share any particulars.
He’s survived by his spouse and an eight-year-old son.
“I had captained him again in my Mohun Bagan days, and he is the form of teenager you’d wish to have beneath your command. I keep in mind, I used to at all times bark out directions to my fellow defenders on the pitch, and Manitombi carried them out to perfection. He was a real warrior,” Ghosh recalled.
Ex-Blue Tigers winger Renedy Singh had additionally performed alongside Manitombi for each nation and membership beneath his management at Mohun Bagan.
“As a captain, you must typically lead by instance. Manitombi was that form of a captain. He labored laborious on the pitch, and that is how he impressed the remainder of us.”
“While you consider a troublesome tackler like him, you’d quite have him in your facet combating for each ball, than within the opposition ranks,” stated Renedy. Whereas the full-back was a “robust tackler” on the pitch, he was completely different off it.
“He was an actual robust man on the pitch, and was very troublesome to beat. However as soon as the sport was over and we walked off the pitch, his jovial facet took over. He may mingle with each seniors and juniors alike, and that is the form of gamers you want within the dressing room,” stated Ghosh.
Lately, Manitombi had taken up teaching and was a coach on the Manipur state league champions Anouba Imagi Mangal within the 2015-16 season.
Reminiscing about their enjoying days, Venkatesh felt that Indian soccer has misplaced an asset with Manitombi’s demise, as he was teaching various kids in Manipur.
“His enjoying days have been over, however I really feel that Indian soccer has misplaced a extremely good coach. After finishing his profession, he was teaching loads of younger gifted Manipuri boys,” stated Venkatesh.
“Having a coach with as a lot expertise as he had, at that degree, is necessary.”
“The data that he was imparting to all these younger gamers who have been coming by way of the ranks beneath him is now gone. Indian soccer will miss him,” he added.
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