Panaji: Former Vasco SC player, Andrew De Sousa, known as 'Goan Pele', passed away on Tuesday due to an age-related ailment at a hospital in Dona Paula. He was 69.

Andrew, who played for Vasco for 13 years as a centre-forward, provided the crucial link in the then famous A-B-C-D combination of Andrew, Bernard, Catao and Domnic. He is considered as one of the best centre-forwards Goa has produced.

He started his football career in 1962. He was nicknamed as 'Goan Pele', when he was introduced to Vasco Sports Club by Caetaninho D'Souza and Ireneu Henriques, both Vasco Sports Club Players.

The major break for Andrew came, when he donned the Indian Jersey in 1969.

Thereafter, Andrew received many offers from several other clubs including Salgaocar SC, East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, Mafatalal, Orkay Mills and Tatas. However, he did not leave Vasco club till the end, when he hunged up his boots in 1975.

Andrew, was part of Goa's first state team that took part in the National Football Championship for the Santosh Trophy at Chennai in 1964. A year later he captained Goa at Quillon in Kerala.

Vasco's SC president, Vinod Parkkot in his condolence message described Andrew as a "genius who will be remembered by Goans for his striking prowess".

President of Goa Football Association Shrinivas Dempo and General Secretary Alberto Colaco also mourned the death of the legendary footballer.