Former India goalkeeper and Captain Brahmanand Sankhwalkar, has been conferred the Padma Shri, making him the eighth exponent of the beautiful game to have won the award.
Sankhwalkar, was captain of the Indian men’s football team from 1983 to 1986, has been awarded the laurel for his contribution to the game. He is a living legend in the field of football and is considered to be one of the best goalkeepers that this country has ever produced. He is the eighth person to win a Padma Shri in the field of football thus joining the ranks of football legends such as Gostho Paul, Sailen Manna, Chuni Goswami, PK Banerjee, Bhaichung Bhutia, Sunil Chhetri, and Bembem Devi.
Sankhwalkar began his professional career in football at the Panvel Sports Club in 1971. He represented Goa in the Santosh Trophy for well over a decade and he led the team to winning two consecutive Santosh Trophy titles in 1983 and 1984. He played for Panvel Sports Club, Salgaocar, Churchill Brothers, and Anderson Mariners at the club level.
Sankhwalkar made his debut with the national team against Japan in 1976 and since then represented the country in 42 international matches. The tournaments that Sankhwalkar played in are: Marah Alim Cup in Kabul (1976 and 1977), the Merdeka Cup (1976, 1981, 1982 and 1986), King’s Cup in Bangkok (1977), and the President’s Cup in Seoul.