Mohun Bagan Celebrates 100 Years of its IFA Shield Triumph
Mohun Bagan on Friday celebrated the final day of the centenary year of its IFA Shield triumph in a grand fashion. It was on July 29, 1911 when Mohun Bagan became the first Indian club to win the IFA Shield defeating East Yorkshire Regiment 2-1.
To mark the centenary year of this historic event, the 122-year-old club conferred the West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee with a lifetime membership, who was the Chief guest at the event.
The club also awarded the ‘Mohun Bagan Ratna’ award to the veteran India international PK Banerjee for his contribution as coach of the club, particularly in 1977, when he guided the club to a treble – IFA Shield, Rovers Cup and Durand Cup.
PK Banerjee spoke about his stint with the club in the 70’s saying he had lots of great memories with the club. “It was the team that made it special. I had some fine players. I feel proud to receive this honour,” PK said.
Earlier in the program, all the 39 players who captained Mohun Bagan from 1955 to 2009 were felicitated. The star among them was the veteran Olympian Sailen Manna, who braved his ill health to attend the program.
Before the spotlight shifted to the CM Mamata Banerjee, the club also felicitated the crew of the movie ‘Egaro’ (Eleven), which brought back historic event to life, for this generation to witness and fell the joy that engulf the nation at that point of time.
Then the Club handed over Rs One Lakh to the CM for the Chief Minister Relief Fund. Mamata, in her address to the gathering, interwove Mohun Bagan, football and independence struggle adding that she herself loves the game a lot.
“I love this game a lot. Mohun Bagan, football and independence struggle are all entwined. These are all part of our tradition. We should strive to improve our football standards as we have been unable to make our mark in the game in recent times,” said Banerjee in her address.
“If we really love this game, we have to build it up. We have to make football academies and prepare the young children for the game… We have to take this game to new heights so that we gain respect in the world arena also,” added Banerjee while promising to do more for the development of football in the state.
The excitement of the people present there exceeded the limit when Sunil Chhetri and Barreto shook legs with the newly appointed Coach Steve Darby. Earlier Babul Supriyo and Indrani Sen entertained the people by churning out songs that made up for the delayed start.