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Bhaichung Bhutia ‘A God gift to India’ – Birthday Special

Bhaichung Bhutia was born on 15 December 1976 in Tinikitam, Sikkim. He has two older brothers, Chewang and Bom Bom Bhutia, and one younger sister named Cali. His parents, both farmers in Sikkim, were originally not keen on Bhutia’s interest in sports. His father died at an early age but after encouragement from his uncle, Kama Bhutia, he started his education in St. Xavier’s School, Pakyong, East Sikkim, and at the age of nine he won a football scholarship from SAI to attend the Tashi Namgyal Academy in Gangtok.

Bhaichung Bhutia (born 15 December 1976) is a retired Indian footballer who played as a Striker. Bhutia is considered to be the torchbearer of Indian football in the international arena. He is often nicknamed the Sikkimese Sniper because of his shooting skills in football. Three-time Indian Player of the Year I.M. Vijayan described Bhutia as “God’s gift to Indian football”. Bhaichung Bhutia has an older brother named Chewang Bhutia. Chewang and Bhaichung both went to boarding school. Bhutia has had four spells at I-League football team East Bengal Club, the club where he started his career. When he joined English club Bury in 1999, he became the first Indian footballer to sign a contract with a European club and only the second to play professionally in Europe, after Mohammad Salim.

His international footballing honours include winning the Nehru Cup, LG Cup, SAFF Championship three times and the AFC Challenge Cup. He is also India’s second most Capped player, with 82 international caps to his name. He is also India’s second youngest international goal scorer after Jerry Zirsanga. when he scored his first goal against Uzbekistan in 1995 Nehru cup at the age of 18 years 90 days. He is also honoured by the Government of India with Arjuna Award and Padma Shri.


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