History of Mohun Bagan – Presented by MohunBaganClub.com

The Champions – 1950 to 1959

In 1950, Club’s another ex-associate, B.K.Ghosh (Gagan Babu) left us. Gagan babu was the Asst General Secretary in 1939, the year when Club won Football League for the first time. This year, Dr.S.K.Gupta was elected the Vice President of the Club and Gagan Babu was nominated as the Trustee. Dr.Gupta was General Secretary of the Club from 1944 to 1950. Later, Chandrashekhar Sen took charge. In 1951, Mohun Bagan reached the finals of Durand Cup. On the first day of finals, Mohun Bagan was leading throughout the match but during the last few minutes, the goalkeeper was seriously injured and left the ground. T.Aao replaced him. Hyderabad Police equaled the scoreboard with 2-2 goals. Match ended in a draw. On the second day, Club lost by 0-2 goals. In the same year, Mohun Bagan lost to East Bengal on the second day of the finals of IFA Shield after the first day draw. But, alongside were some achievements. League Championship and Asian games Football Championship for the first time. That year Asian games took place at Delhi, where four players of Mohun Bagan were selected for the Indian Football Team, including Sailen Manna, T.Aao, Abhay Ghosh and Runu Guhathakurta. The team was captained by Manna. India defeated Iran by 2-0 goals. After Asian Games, the Indian football team went to Far East Asia Captained by Sailen Manna again. M.A.Sattar and Runu Guhathakurata were also selected. In 1951-52, Maharaja Srish Chandra Nandi passed away. General Secretary, Mr. Chandrasekhar Sen also died in the same year. Eminent Solicitor Sourendra Mohan Basu became the Secretary of the club. At the same time, Sourendra Nath Kar was elected the Vice President of the Club. Here a point must be noted that Mr.S.N.Banerjee, Mr.B.C.Ghosh, Mr.S.K.Gupta and Mr.S.M Gupta, all the four secretaries of Mohun Bagan Athletic Club got the honour to become the secretary of IFA. In Helsinki Olympics of 1952, 3 Mohun Bagan players were selected. They are Sailen Manna (Captain), M.A.Sattar and Runu Guhathakurta. For both the Olympics of 1948 and 1952, Mohun Bagan’s players captained the Indian Team. After two days of draw with Rajasthan Club, that year the IFA Shield Final was absconded. Mohun Bagan won the first ever Durand Cup in 1953. In the final match at Delhi, Mohun Bagan beat the National Defence Academy of Dehradun by 4 goals to nil. His Excellency honorable President of India Babu Rajendra Prasad was the chief guest of the prize distribution ceremony. He said, “Mohun Bagan was my favorite team from my childhood. I was a regular visitor of all Mohun Bagan matches, when I was a student at Kolkata. Sometimes, when I didn’t have money to buy the ticket, I could not stop myself. I watched the match from outside. I was always aware with the up to date news of the club”.  In the same year, Club lost another trustee Mr.Hriday Ghosh.

Club won the double crown for the first time in 1954 by winning the League Championship and IFA Shield by beating Hyderabad XI. Another glorious moment was when Mohun Bagan beat the Gresers Club from Austria by 2 goals to 1. In the same year, Mohun Bagan beat the visiting Afghan National Team by 3 goals to nil. In 1954 Indian Team visited Soviet Union under the captainship of Sailen Manna. Ratan Sen of Mohun Bagan accompanied Manna. But after the Soviet tour, during IFA Shield, Sailen Manna was seriously injured. S.Dutta of Mohun Bagan became the top scorer of the year, while the youngest player of the squad, Subimal Goswami, better known as Chuni, became the second highest scorer. During the 2nd Asian Games at Manila, Philippines, Sailen Manna (Captain), M.A. Sattar, P.Venkatesh, S.Dutta and Samar Banerjee (Badru) were in the Indian Squad.

1955 witnessed Mohun Bagan again as the League Champions. In the same year, Mohun Bagan got the opportunity to play with the visiting Soviet and Swedish teams. But Mohun Bagan was defeated by 3 goals to nil in both the matches.

1956 was a memorable year for the club. In this year, Mohun Bagan lifted the Rovers Cup for the first time. Later, the Club took part in a match with the visiting football team from Austria. After a struggling fight, Mohun Bagan was defeated by 2 goals to nil. Then Mohun Bagan lifted both the Calcutta crowns by becoming League and IFA Shield champions. Including this year’s victory, Club won League for 3 consecutive times. Existing Club Secretary was veteran Mohun Bagan player Karuna Bhattacharya. Since Mohun Bagan got the invitation to visit Far East again, so the team did not participate for the Durand Cup that year. Club’s Asst General Secretary Dhiren Dey took all the responsibility to arrange the tour for Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. Karuna Bhattacharya and Sailen Dey was Joint Secretary for this tour. The team included Sailen Manna (Captain), M.A. Sattar (Vice Captain), Ratan Sen, Sushil Guha, D.Mukherjee, S.Chatterjee, P.Barua, Subhasish Guha, M.B.Narsia, Chandan Singh, Chuni Goswami, K.Pal, Badru Banerjee, S.Raman, Parimal Majumdar and R.Guha. That tour of Mohun Bagan earned high esteem for the Indian Football.

In 1956, in Melbourne Olympics, Samar Banerjee(Badru) captained the Indian team. Kesto Pal was also selected in the team. Chuni Goswami, S.Chatterjee and Sushil Guha were selected as reserved players. That year, an ex Official associated with the Club, Salil Mitra (Matal Babu) passed away. Salil Mitra provided lot of assistance to the Club throughout his life. From 1934-36, he served as the Asst General Secretary, from 1937-41, as the Treasurer, and from 1945-56, as the Trustee of the Club.

In 1957, Mohun Bagan lost to Mohammedan Sporting Club at the finals of Rover’s Cup by 0-3 goals. Once again Samar Banerjee (Badru) was given the responsibility of Captainship of the Indian Team for the East tour. In addition, S.Chatterjee, Sushil Guha, Kempia, Kesto Pal and Chuni Goswami were selected. But Chuni had to stay back as he was elected the Captain of the Calcutta University Team in the International University Football Tournament. Chuni led the Calcutta Team to Championship. In 1957-58, the Club did not do well in Rover’s Cup and Durand Cup Tournaments. In the First Division League, the Club was left as runners. In the IFA Shield finals, Mohun Bagan had to compete with East Bengal. The first day ended up in a draw. But IFA failed to organize the second day match for that year.

In 1958, for the Tokyo Asian Games, Chuni Goswami, Amed Hossain and M.Kempia were nominated for the Indian Team. But once again Chuni had to refuse, to accept the captainship of Calcutta University Team. In 1958-59, Mohun Bagan had to quit the Tournament at the Semifinals. On the other hand, the Club won the Calcutta Football League and reached the finals of IFA Shield Championship against East Bengal. IFA failed to Final match by September. Afterwards, the final was held in January 1959, and East Bengal won the match by 1-0 goals.

Later, the Club participated in a Charity Match at the request of Delhi Football Association for the aid of the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru himself was present at the ground. He told Dr.Bidhan Roy that he was Mohun Bagan supporter. In Kabul’s Pre-Olympics Football Tournament, Mohun Bagan’s  Sushil Guha, Kempia, Jarnail Singh and Chuni Goswami were elected for the Indian team. And in Kwalalumpur Mardeca Football Tournament, Mohun Bagan’s  T.A.Rehman and Kempia were elected for the Indian Team. Club’s another player Arun Ghosh participated in Calcutta University Team in the International University Football Tournament.

At the commencement of 1959-60 Football period, Club won the Durand Cup by defeating Mohammedan Sporting Club by 3-1 goals. At the prize distribution ceremony, President Rajendra Prasad praised the sporting spirit of Mohun Bagan Club. Soon after this accomplishment, the first Division League Championship and the IFA Shield Championship added to Club’s glory. The Club defeated Indian Navy at the IFA Shield finals. This year the Club also played another Charity Match with Indonesia’s National Team for the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund. At the end of the game, the football used in this match was auctioned by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, which was bought by distinguished industrialist and Mohun Bagan’s senior member M.L.Khaitan with Rs.14000.

In 1959-60, total number of matches played by Mohun Bagan was 42,among which Club won in 36 matches, made a draw in 5 matches and lost in only 1 match against Eastern Railways. The credit for this extraordinary achievement goes to Club Secretary Sailen Manna and Asst General Secretary Dhiren Dey and Balai Das Chattopadhyay. Though Sailen Manna was aged at that time, he did not turn down when Jarnail Singh was absent and played as his substitute in 12 matches. He also played in the Charity match of Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.

That year Club commenced three back system and Arun Singh became the Coach. Within a very short time he established himself as a successful Coach of the National Football Team.