Former Mohun Bagan player, E Hamsakoya, who had tested positive for COVID-19, succumbed early Saturday at a hospital in Malappuram, Kerala taking the coronavirus toll in the state to 15.
Hamsakoya, 61, who had settled in Mumbai and had represented Maharashtra in Santosh Trophy matches, had returned to his home town at Parappanangadi by road on May 21 along with his wife, son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren aged three months and three years.
His five family members have also tested positive for the virus and are under treatment at the Manjeri medical college hospital, sources said.
I-League team Gokulam Kerala FC confirmed the demise and paid tribute to Hamsakoya.
GKFC family is deeply saddened by the loss of former footballer E Hamsakoya due to Covid_19.
A veteran footballer from Malabar, Hamsakoya had played for Maharashtra state in Santosh Trophy besides playing for Mohan Bagan and Mohammedan Sports Club.
Rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/a1viGhmDev— Gokulam Kerala FC (@GokulamKeralaFC) June 6, 2020
A wing back during his playing days, he was called up for the national team camp twice but never played for the country.
"We mourn the loss of former footballer Hamza Koya, who lost his battle against COVID-19 in a Malappuram hospital today. He had represented Maharashtra in the Santosh Trophy, and had been called up for the National Team camps on 2 occasions," the All India Football Federation said in a tweet.
We mourn the loss of former footballer Hamza Koya, who lost his battle against COVID-19 in a Malappuram hospital today. He had represented Maharashtra in the Santosh Trophy, and had been called up for the National Team camps on 2 occasions.#RestInPeace ð
ð¸: Manjappada pic.twitter.com/Y407mXc4j9— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) June 6, 2020
Hamsakoya started his football career with Western Railway and went on to play for other Mumbai clubs like Union Bank, RCF, Tata Sports and Orkay Mills.
"His last club was Orkay Mills. He was a very hard tackling defender, also good at aerial balls," former Mumbai footballer Prakash Shetty, who played with Hamsakoya at Union Bank and Orkay Mills, told PTI.
Besides suffering from pneumonia, Hamsakoya had acute respiratory distress syndrome and cardiac problems. He underwent Plasma Therapy on the direction of the medical board as his condition worsened, a medical bulletin said.
Malappuram District Medical Officer Dr. K Sakeena said Hamsakoya's wife and son showed symptoms of Covid-19 first and were admitted to the hospital.
All possible medical care was given to the deceased, but he breathed his last early this morning, she said.
"His wife and son tested positive for the virus first in his family.
Later, Hamsakoya also tested positive for the virus and had been under treatment at the medical college.
His daughter-in-law and two of his grandchildren have also tested positive and are under medical observation", Dr. Sakeena said.
The mortal remains of the deceased will be buried as per the COVID protocol, sources added.
(With PTI inputs)