Footballer dies in Cortalim mishap

Promising football player of Margao Sports Club, Rakshak Naik of Sangolda, died today morning following a  road accident at Curpawado, Cortalim, Saturday. He was 28

The mortal remains were consigned to flames at Sangolda crematorium in the evening in the presence of several footballer players, Margao SC and Bardez Club officials, GFA vice-president Lavinio Rebello and executive committee members Welwyn Menezes, Uday Lingudkar, Babli Mandrekar among others.

It was a tragic end to a promising football career. Rakshak finished his morning practice session at Camurlim-Loutulim ground and was happily returning home on his motorcycle along with his colleague Stanley Coutinho of Calangute when following a major head-on collision with a truck he breathed his last. Stanley suffered a leg fracture.

Young Rakshak got his baptism in football at St Anthony’s HS, Monte de Guirim. Thereafter, he donned colours for Saraswat and St Xavier’s HSS teams.

It was Sangolda Lightning which gave him a platform to perform at inter-village tournaments. Goa Police picked him next for their First Division team and after short stints with ONGC, Raia and Sesa Goa. The big break came when he joined Sporting Clube de Goa. Subsequently, he switched over to another Goa Professional Club – Margao Sports Club – and excelled as striker for the team.

The SAG’s Elvis Gomes and GFDC’s Dr Rufino Monteiro also condoled the untimely death of the promising player.

Margao SC also condoled the sudden death of their player Rakshak. Club treasurer, Tito Cardozo told Herald that Rakshak was a disciplined, hardworking and dedicated player, adding that the club had lost a key player.

Former India captain Mauricio Afonso and Dempo midfielder Climax Lawrence condoled the untimely death of Rakshak. GFA member Anthony Pango, Salcete FC president Joseph Dias also condoled the death of the young footballer.

Meanwhile, the North Goa Honey Bee Friendship Cup final between Sangolda Lightning and Candolim has been postponed due to the sudden demise of Rakshak. [H]