Fortunato Franco, the former football player who was part of the Indian team that won gold at the 1962 Asian Games in Jakarta, passed away in Goa on Monday. Franco is survived by his wife, son and daughter.
Playing as a midfielder, Franco was an integral part of the Indian team that beat South Korea 2-1 in the final at Jakarta. He was also part of the team that finished second in the 1962 Asian Cup, and played in the 1960 Olympics as well.
Additionally, Franco was also part of the Indian team that finished runners-up in the 1964 Merdeka Cup in Kuala Lumpur, and third in the 1965 edition of the tournament.
Making his debut against Pakistan in the Asian Cup Qualifiers in Ernakulam in December 1959, Franco went on to make 26 international appearances.
He played for Tata Sports Club and also captained Maharashtra in the Santosh Trophy from 1959 to 1966. He led the team to victory in the 1963-64 season of the Santosh Trophy.
“It is devastating to hear that Mr. Fortunato Franco is no more. He was a member of the Indian Football’s golden generation who played a stellar role in helping India win the Gold Medal in 1962 Asian Games. His contribution to Indian Football can never be forgotten. I share the grief,” said All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel.