Coach Bob Bootland dies

India's first foreign club soccer coach Robert Allison Bootland, popularly known as Bob, died of a heart attack early Wednesday morning. He was 72.

A taskmaster with a no-nonsense attitude, Bob, who also had a stint with the Indian team in 1982, is learnt to have complained of chest pain before being rushed to the Goa Medical College, Bambolim where he breathed his last.

He is survived by his wife Fatima and sons Allison and Ronald.

Family sources informed that Bob had several health woes of late and was confined to his residence at Divar. He was recently operated upon for a tumour, besides suffering from thrombosis.

Bob's journey into India apart from his personal and professional life was interesting. Landing in Goa as a tourist in 1977, the Newcastle-born Britisher was invited to watch Dempo Sports Club play in a senior divison League, before his coaching started earning him his bread and butter.

So in love was he with the state that Bob decided to settle down in Goa and subsequently got married to a Goan school teacher and athlete Fatima.

During his stay Bob had coaching stints with Dempo SC, Vasco SC, Tatas, JCT Mills and the Indian football team.

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