Badal Roy, an iconic footballer of the national team, breathed his last at a hospital in Dhaka yesterday. He was 62.
Roy was suffering from liver cancer as well as a few other ailments. He breathed his last while undergoing treatment at the Bangladesh Medical College at 5:35pm.
Around 11:00am today, his body will be taken to Mohammedan Sporting Club and then to Bangabandhu National Stadium at noon, so that his family, friends, colleagues and loyal supporters can pay their last respects.
He will then be cremated at Sabujbag Kali Mandir Shoshan.
Roy left behind his wife, a son, a daughter and a host of well-wishers to mourn his death.
A midfielder of the highest calibre in Bangladesh, Roy wore the black and white jersey of Mohammedan Sporting Club for more than a decade after making his debut for the Motijheel-based outfit in 1977.
He also captained the Bangladesh national team on many occasions.
Abdul Gaffar, another former national team player and a long-time friend, expressed his sadness at the untimely death of the noted footballer.
“My friend is gone and I could not do anything about it except for looking at his face,” said Gaffar, who attended to Roy at the hospital over the last few days.
Roy had suffered a stroke in 2017 and was taken to Singapore for emergency treatment on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s advice. The star footballer recovered, not fully though, as he became partially paralysed.
Despite his physical limitations, Roy continued his organisational duties, including as a vice-president of Bangladesh Football Federation for three terms from 2008 to 2020. He was also a vice-president of the Bangladesh Olympic Association.
He had also served as Mohammedan’s manager in various terms.
Despite his ill health, Roy ran for the president’s post in BFF’s recent election, losing eventually to incumbent Kazi Salahuddin.
It was after the elections that Roy fell seriously ill. He was diagnosed with breathing problems and a kidney ailment and was shifted from one hospital to another.
He was eventually taken to the Bangladesh Medical College for dialysis on Saturday.
Former national team captain and coach Golam Sarwar Tipu remembered Roy with great affection and respect.
“As per my knowledge, Badal Roy is the only footballer to have played for a single club in the Dhaka league,” Tipu told The Daily Star.
“He loved football too much and perhaps deprived his family too because of his love for the game,” Tipu said.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, State Minister for Youth and Sports Zahid Ahsan Russel, Bangladesh Football Federation, Bangladesh Olympic Association and other sports-related organisations expressed condolences at the passing away of the noted footballer.