Nagendra hailed from a family of footballers in Tumakuru, with three of the five brothers – AD Srinivas and AD Devaraj being the other two – donning the state and national colours. After turning out for Mysore University, Nagendra joined CIL as a guest player before moving to Jupiters SC and Jawahar Union. He first played in the state team in 1963.
The stopper back was soon selected to the Mysore team that won the Santosh Trophy in 1967-68 and in 1968-69. His performance got him a national call-up. He was part of the India squad that featured in the Merdeka Cup. Nagendra was also in the India team that played Russia during that period.
“At Jupiters he played a big part in lifting the club from B Division to the top tier. He never missed a penalty and I remember watching his game in the newsreel at the Vijayalakshmi theatre near Chickpet. Such was his skill that he used to take the ball from goalline to goalline and give the pass,” Nagendra’s neighbour and former ITI player R Ramakrishna told TOI.
Later, Nagendra joined State Bank of Mysore and played in inter-bank tournaments. After his playing career, he excelled as a coach. “He got his NIS diploma and then went to Germany for a diploma. He was then in charge of spotting and nurturing talent in Karnataka,” a former state association official said.
Nagendra was named the India U-16 coach and then trained the U-19 team at the Asian Youth Championships in Delhi in 1996. He also excelled as the coach of HAL for a long period. In between, he was also in charge of ITI.
The last rites were performed on Thursday. Nagendra is survived by his wife, son Suresh, an AFC C license coach, and a daughter. The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has mourned his death.