Nandu Natekar demise: Tributes pour in for India's first badminton superstar

11:04 AM Jul 28, 2021 | FPJ Web Desk

India's badminton legend Nandu Natekar passed away aged 88 in Pune on Wednesday (July 28).

Natekar was the first Indian player to win an overseas tournament when he won the Sellanger International in Malaysia in 1956.


In 1954, Natekar reached the quarterfinals of All England Open and in 1980 and 1981, he won the veterans event of the competition, in the doubles category.


Natekar was also the first recipient in sports of the Arjuna Award in 1961 and represented India at the 1965 Commonwealth Games in Jamaica.

The 88-year-old, who won over 100 national and international titles in his career, was suffering from age-related ailments.

He is survived by his son Gaurav and two daughters.

"He passed away peacefully at home and we were all with him and he has been ailing for the last three months and he passed away peacefully," Gaurav told to PTI.

Natekar, who was considered one of most popular sportspersons of his time, was also a former World number three.

Born in Sangli in western Maharashtra, Natekar won over 100 national and international titles in a career spanning over 15 years. He was also conferred with the prestigious Arjuna Award in 1961.

"With deepest sorrow, we would like to inform you that our beloved father Nandu Natekar passed away on 28th July, 2021," The Natekar family said in a message.

"Keeping in mind the COVID-19 guidelines, we will not be having a condolence meeting. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers."

He was also won 12 out of the 16 singles matches and 8 out of 16 in doubles as part of the Indian team at the Thomas Cup between 1951 and 1963. He also had the distinction of leading the country in the tournament in 1959, 1961 and 1963.

He had also represented India at the 1965 Commonwealth Games in Jamaica.

As the news of the legend's demise spread across social media, tributes started to put in from every corner of India.

Read the tributes below:

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

(To view our epaper please Read Now. For all the latest News, Mumbai, Entertainment, Cricket, Business and Featured News updates, visit Free Press Journal. Also, follow us on Twitter and Instagram and do like our Facebook page for continuous updates on the go)