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Edu Nandlal

Personal information
Full nameRadjindernath Nandlal

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Radjindernath "Edu" Nandlal (born 1963 or 1964 in Paramaribo) is a retired Dutch-Suriname footballer. During his career, he played for the FC Utrecht, FC Emmen and Vitesse teams. He was one of the footballers that survived the Surinam Airways Flight PY764 air crash in Paramaribo on June 7, 1989.

Nandlal moved from Suriname to the Netherlands in 1980 at the age of 17. His aim was to become a successful professional footballer. In Suriname, he excelled in several sports. His athletic abilities gave him some respite from the difficult times he endured at school. Due to his Hindu background, he wasn't able to speak Dutch well. After he moved to the Netherlands, he studied and got rid of the language barrier. He became a talented footballer and was signed by FC Utrecht. Later he played for FC Emmen and eventually Vitesse where he played until 1989.

After the 1988-89 season, he was invited by Sonny Hasnoe, the founder of the Colourful 11 to be part of the team and travel to Suriname to play in the "Boxel Kleurrijk Tournament" with three Surinamese teams. Due to his nerves during the flight, Nandlal was unable to sleep and he switched seats with Jerry Haatrecht to be able to have a better view out of the window. The Surinam Airways Flight PY764 crashed during approach to Paramaribo-Zanderij International Airport, killing 176 of the 187 onboard, making it the deadliest ever aviation disaster in Suriname's history. Among the dead were a total of 15 members of the Colourful 11 including Haatrecht. Only three of them, including Nandlal, survived.

Nandlal remembers hearing a big bang prior to the accident and recalls the plane trying to regain altitude. From that moment, he went into shock and suffered memory loss. He had been talking to security people. After this, he was placed in a car, but he stepped out and went back into the jungle. He spent five days in a hospital in Paramaribo, but is unable to remember anything of this. In a hospital back in Amsterdam, he came back to life and realised what had happened. He suffered a partial spinal cord lesion rendering him quadriplegic and spent 13 months in a wheelchair. As a result, he was unable to return to the pitch. He wasn't sure if he would ever be able to walk again, but with hard work, he finally succeeded.

Exactly twelve years after the accident, on June 7, 2001, he was told his five year old son was terminally ill. The boy died in his arms that day. Three months later, he divorced from his wife. He told journalist Ton van den Berg that it was then that he finally understood the impact of losing someone close as he was still in shock after the air crash. Currently Nandlal is part of the political party Leefbaar Utrecht and has his own cleaning company. He lives with his two daughters.

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