Peter Thangaraj was an Indian Football player known for his impeccable goalkeeping skills, and considered to be one of the best goalkeepers Indian Football has ever got. He represented the Indian National Football team in the 1956 and 1960 Olympic Games.
Thangaraj was born in the year 1936 at Bolarum in the state of Andhra Pradesh. During his early years, he joined the Morning Star Club and the Friends Union Club of Secundarabad.
Peter got selected for the Indian Army in the year 1953, and started playing as a Center Forward for the Madras Regimental Center. Subsequently, he switched from playing as a Center Forward and began concentrating upon goalkeeping, which proved to be a very successful change for him.
As a part of Madras Regiment Center, Thangaraj helped the team win the Durand Cup in the years 1955 and 1958. Further, he became the Captain of the Services team and led the team to its first ever victory in Santosh Trophy in the year 1960.
In the year 1960 Thangaraj left the Services team too, and joined the reputed Calcutta (now Kolkata) team Mohammedan Sporting where he played till the year 1963. During 1963-65 he played for the famous Calcutta club Mohun Bagan, while he served at East Bengal, another well known club from Calcutta during 1965-71. Thangaraj joined the Mohammedan Sporting once again in the year 1971, and played there till 1972.
In the year 1963 Thangaraj represented the Bengal team in the Santosh Trophy tournament, and helped the team win the trophy. He also played in the same tournament for Railways in the year 1965 and got them a victory.
Peter made his debut in the International Football in the year 1955 by participating in the Quadrangular Tournament held at Dacca as a part of the Indian squad. He also represented the Indian Football team in the Tokyo Asian Games 1958, Jakarta Asian Games 1962, Bangkok Asian Games 1966, Melbourne Olympic Games 1956 and Rome Olympic Games 1960.
Apart from it, he was a member of the Indian Football squad that participated at Asian Cup Football tournaments held at Israel in 1964 and at Burma in 1966. He played in the Merdeka Cup Football tournament held at Kuala Lampur from the year 1958 to 1966, and played for the Asian All Star team twice.
Honors and Achievements
- Got the Indian Football team a Gold Medal at the 1962 Jakarta Asian Games.
- Played for the Asian All-Star team twice.
- Best Goalkeeper of Asia in 1958.
- Arjuna Award in 1967.
Peter Thangaraj was honored as the Best Goalkeeper of Asia in the year 1958, and the Best Goalkeeper at the Asian All Star team in the year 1967. The same year, he was conferred upon the prestigious Arjuna Award. He passed away of a heart attack on the 24th of November 2008 at Bokaro.