KATHMANDU, Aug 7: Footballer Ranjan Thapa of Pokhara died in a bus accident at Maheshkhola, Simle of Dhading district on Tuesday morning which killed atleast 12 passengers.
Thapa, 15, of Lamachaur featured for Nepali team during AFC U-14 Festival of Football held some three months earlier in the capital.
Three other players were also injured in the bus accident which was heading from Butwal to Kathmandu. The players were returning to Kathmandu after attending the supplementary examination of SLC. Thapa was interested in football since his childhood. His love and dedication towards the game open the door of ANFA Academy some four years earlier.
"Thapa was very passionate about football since his childhood. In his death, Nepal has lost a future national player," Kaski District Football Association General Secretary Buddhi Khatri told Republica Pokhara correspondent Santosh Pokharel.
After being selected for ANFA Academy some five years ago, he trained at Butwal Academy. But seeing his potential he was called to Kathmandu Academy in March, two month prior to AFC U-14 festival of football .
"He was a great player. I had selected him for training in Kathmandu following a weeklong selection," Bal Gopal Maharjan, one of his coaches at the Satdobato Academy said. "Though he was central defender he was capable of playing in any position and was included in the starting line up for the Festival of Football."
Currently he was busy training for AFC U-16 Qualifiers in 2013, and for an age group tournament in Japan later this year.
According to Ranjan´s teammate Milan Hitan who survived the accident and is now being treated at Star Hospital, Sanepa, Rajnan was a good player.
According to Ranjan´s uncle Dil Bahadur Thapa, his parents had asked him to visit home from Butwal.
"Even his parents had asked him to visit home before heading to Kathmandu from Butwal. But he said that he was busy in training and did not want to miss it," Dil Bahadur said, "But different fate awaited him and thus he went Kathmandu."
He is the youngest son of his family. He will be cremated in Pokhara on Wednesday.