Imphal: Former India International player and renowned coach L. Manitombi Singh passed away at his residence at Achanbigei at the age of only 39 years.
Traditionally a right back, Manitombi was known for creating attacks, often running up the wing. He played for many of the renowned top division clubs in the country including Air India, Salgaocar FC and Mohun Bagan.
Representing the Blue Tigers in 2002, he was part of the famous India U-23 squad that won the LG Cup. He also played in the Asian Games.
He was a favorite with Mohun Bagan fans, becoming popular with the fans when he scored his first goal for the club on his club debut game in the CFL. He later became a captain for the club, and under his leadership the Mariners lifted the All Airlines Gold Cup in 2004.
He remained a big name in Manipuri football throughout his playing career. In 2014, he played for NEROCA in the Manipur State League, playing a part in the club winning their maiden title and representing the Manipur team in Santosh Trophy and other national football events.
After his playing career ended, he became a coach. He served as the head coach of Anouba Imagi Mangal (AIM) for many years in the Manipur State League and looked set to have a bright coaching career ahead of him.
His untimely passing has sent shockwaves through Manipuri and Indian football and fans, colleagues and friends alike are in a state of mourning.