Seemed like the football roads were all leading to the Mohun Bagan ground. It was a galaxy of sorts, where the current, budding, and former footballers from past seven decade blessed the occasion. Not to forget the thousands of Mohun Bagan fans who were present at the Mohun Bagan tent to celebrate the famous win of 1911.
This win naturally ignites the pride and passion among the players as well as fans over the years.
The Mohun Bagan tent and the club lawn were all decked up for the occasion along with the bright green and maroon lights. A huge stage was put at at the right side of the ground, where the felicitation ceremony, cultural extravaganza, and dinner ceremony took place.
The event kicked off with a series of exhibition football matches. U-13 teams of Veterans Club and Mohun Bagan Club locked their horns. The match had all its excitement but ended in a goal less draw.
The next match was played between the former Mohun Bagan players, Shib Das Bhaduri XI vs Bijoy Das Bhaduri XI. Both football legends who had donned the colors of Mohun Bagan and above all the winning member of the epic 1911 IFA Shield. Such was the excitement of the match that a total of 85 footballers were divided into two teams. The players from the 50’s to the 90s, all exibited their fine skills and reminded of the glorious past of Calcutta football. Finally, Bijoy Das Bhaduri XI got the better of his sibling team, Shib Das Bhaduri XI, and worn the match 3-2.
The name of the few players who played the match includes, Kannan, Syed Nayeemuddin, Shibaji Banerjee, Jo Paul Ancheri, Pranab Ganguly, Abdul Khaleq, Achintya Belel, Sukhen Sengupta, Gouranga Banerjee, Sudip Chakraborty, Uttam Mukherjee, Hemanta Dora, Pradip Talukdar, Krishnagopal Chowdhury, Gunabir Singh, Amit Das, Saumitra Chakraborty.
The final exhibition match was played between the Artist Forum XI and the Sports Journalist XI. Also, this match between the amateurs was a closely contested match, and ended in a 1-1 draw.
The members of the Mohun Bagan fans club had organized a photo exhibition of the club's history, former and current players along with some memorable moments of Mohun Bagan Ratna, Samar (Badru) Banerjee.
Football legends, Sailen Manna, P. K. Banerjee, and Chuni Goswami witnessed the entire proceedings. The legends rose to the stage to give away the much-coveted Mohun Bagan Ratna to Samar (Badru) Banerjee. Also, on the same stage the officials took the opportunity to introduce each of the players and the coaching staff for the current season to the fans and members.
Also present in the occassion were the Mohun Bagan coach, Karim Benchariffa, IFA secretary Utpal Ganguly, CAB president Jagmohan Dalmiya, and numerous other players who have made Mohun Bagan proud.
Photo courtesy: Tridip Sheet and Sumanta Mishra