Brahmanand Shankhwalkar becomes the first Goan sportsperson to win Padma Shri
Former India captain and goalkeeper Brahmanand Shankhwalkar has been honoured with Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian honour in the country
Shankhwalkar, the first Goan footballer to captain India, is also the first sportsperson from Goa to be awarded the Padma Shri.
"I have been playing football for over five decades now. Never ever I got bored of it. Football has always given me joy, encouragement, reputation, prestige. Now the feeling of being selected for Padma Shri is indescribable. I am speechless. I would like to thank my parents, family, club, fans, supporters and dedicate this honour to the people of Goa," Shankhwalkar told Gomantak Times
Shankhwalkar is considered one of the best Indian goalkeepers. From the age of 15, Shankhwalkar started playing football which lasted for more than 24 years. He started his career in 1970 with Panvel Sports Club in Goa and was also a part of Salgaocar FC and Churchill Bros later. He has appeared in more than 70 appearances for the national team and went on to captain the team from 1983 to 1986.
He also holds the national record of not conceding a goal for 576 minutes and is the only Goan player to lead the state for two consecutive Santosh Trophies in 1983 and 1984.
As a player, Shankhawalkar has won Bandodkar Gold Trophy (1974, 1981, 1988), TFA Shield (1979, 1982), Nehru Cup (1985), Rovers Cup (1990), Federation Cup (1988, 1989), Santosh Trophy (1982-83, 1983-84)
Shankhawalkar has also received the India Football Federation's best player of the decade (1985-1995). In 1997, he became the first Goan footballer to be honoured with Arjuna Award.
Even after he hang up his boots, Shankhwalkar was deeply involved with the sport in various capacities. He went on to become an Indian goalkeeping coach from 1997 to 2005.