8 Dec :He came, he saw and he left but not before donating Rs 12,36,000 – the proceeds of Diego Maradona’s auctioned memorabilia for the Maheshtala-located Indian Football School, the foundation stone of which was laid by the legendary Argentine himself on his arrival last week.
The bid dinner which followed, open exclusively to partners of Maradona’s India trip, fetched an overwhelming response, with his four jerseys three Argentine, one Boca Juniors and another Barcelona alone fetching Rs 6,91,000.
With mediamen and his die-hard fans giving their sleep a miss and preferring to wait outside the hotel on Eastern Metropolitan Bypass, Maradona and his entourage left around 1.30 am to catch his Lufthansa LH-751 flight to Frankfurt at 2.45 on early Monday.
Maradona, who was on two-day trip of Kolkata, left the gathering, which included prominent city and NRI entrepreneurs coming all the way from Los Angeles, mesmerised.
Born in India and raised in US, Rahul Roy now a chief technical executive officer with Arc Technologies based in US, was excited when he came to know about Diego’s trip to his native place.
"Having learnt that my ‘idol’ is coming to India, I could not stop myself and planned a tour of my country. I am sports lover and have played American football."
"Now, I have a hall of fame which includes memorabilia of great players like Pele and even cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly. So I did not want this life time opportunity to go," Roy, who began the proceedings bidding Rs 2 lakh for Maradona’s Number 10 jersey, told a news agency.