Mr. Bhaichung Bhutia
Arjuna Award,Padma Shree
Bhaichung Bhutia is a youth icon and admired in the whole length and breadth of India. A born sportsman he has vast experience of national and international sports. Hailing from Sikkim, at the age of 9, he won a SAI scholarship and joined the Tashi Namgyal school in Gangtok. By the age of 16 he made his professional debut for East Bengal Football Club. By 1995 he had made his international debut in the Nehru Cup against Thailand.
Nicknamed the ‘Sikkimese Sniper’ for his deft ball control and scoring abilities, he was considered as God’s gift to Indian football. During his playing days Indian football saw glorious heights winning the 2005 SAFF Cup and reaching the finals of the Afro Asian Games in 2003. He is the longest serving captain of the Indian Football Team and scored a record 42 goals in 107 international appearances. He also had stints with the English and Malaysian league, playing for teams like Bury, Perak and Selangor.
Bhaichung retired from professional football in 2011 and set up the Bhaichung Bhutia Football School (BBFS) as a youth development initiative. Presently, it has a chain of 23 training centers in 10 cities and provides world-class football coaching to talented youngsters.
He has been awarded the Padma Shree and Arjuna Award by the Government of India.