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CELEBRATIONS : 1947–1960

In 1947 Mohun Bagan again won the IFA Shield after its first victory way back in 1911; Mohun Bagan is the first Indian Football Club to win IFA Shield after independence. This year club also participated in Rovers Cup, but due to the collapse of Cooperage Stadium the match was abandoned in middle of the game. Club took part in the Madura Gold Cup Tournament, South India but lost in the final to Hyderabad Police. On its way back the club played a match in aid of charity at Pondicherry Ashram where the members received the blessings of the “MOTHER” of the ashram. Mohun Bagan team was very strong at that time.

1947 IFA Shield Winning Team

1947 IFA Shield Winning Team of Mohun Bagan

In 1948, Mohun Bagan won IFA Shield consecutively for two times by beating Bhowanipore Club and took the second position in First Division Calcutta Football League. In this year, National football team first participated in London Olympics and Dr. T. Aao of Mohun Bagan was selected as the captain of that team. Sailen Manna and Mahabir Prasad were also selected in the national squad. Anil Dey was also selected for the Olympic team to go to London, but did not make the trip preferring to stay back for rendering assistance to the club which he did most creditably. He set a new history by serving the club at a time when he might have enjoyed the honour of playing for India in the Olympic Games. Naturally the club was very thankful for him. The club had the further honour of having its Football Secretary; Mr. Balaidas Chatterjee selected as the trainer and First Indian Olympic football team. Gostho Paul earned the gratitude of the club by very sportingly taking up the responsibility of acting as the Hony. Football Secretary during the absence of Balaidas Chatterjee. In the same year, Mohun Bagan got the invitation from Afghanistan Government on the occasion of their Independence Day celebrations but due prior engagement club was unable to attend the programme. In the same year the club had the further honour of being invited by the Hony. Sardar Baldev Singh, Defense Minister of the Government of India, to play two football charity matches at New Delhi in connection with the “Kashmir Day” celebrations for the Armed Forces of India. The club was received very cordially. Air Vice-Marshall, S. Mukherjee coming down to Calcutta with a special airplane for carrying away the players of the team to Delhi. At a grand party given to the club by Sardar Baldev Singh at his residence a magnificent presentation from the Governor General Shri C. Rajagopalachari was handed over to the team which went under the able management of P. K. Sen. This year club lost Sri B. C. Ghosh, Barrister-at-Law. Sri Ghosh was the Hony. General Secretary of the club from 1941-1943 and died as the senior most Vice-President (1944-1948) of the club and a member of the Board of Trustees. In the same year, club lost Sri Monmohan Mukherjee, one of the stalwarts of the 1911 IFA Shield winning team. In this year, A. N. Chowdhury, Barrister-at-Law was elected as the Vice-President (1948-1949 & 1950-1959) of the club.

1948 IFA Shield Winning Team

1948 IFA Shield Winning Team of Mohun Bagan

Baldev Singh MB 1948

(Left):Mohun Bagan team that played the charity match in connection with "Kashmir Day"

(Right):H.E. Sri C. Rajagopalachari, Governor-General of India is seen auctioning the ball after the match

In 1949 Mohun Bagan celebrated the Diamond Jubilee in a befitting manner. On this occasion, Club invited Swedish Football team Helsingborg and played three matches. The celebration started from club tent on 15th August morning at 7 AM. All the members of the club went to Kalighat temple. After reaching to the club tent, Sir Biren Mukherjee hoisted the National Flag along with the club flag. The then general secretary Dr. S. K. Gupta recited the complimentary messages sent by many famous persons from different fields. Club was decorated gracefully with lights on the evening. To make the event significant, the programme ended with firing 60 crackers. Following this in next December, the other events were organized on 11th December’s morning; a procession started from the 14, Balaram Ghosh Street, Mohun Bagan’s birthplace. The procession ended after reaching to club tent. Dr. Girish Ghosh, H. K. Ghosh, Abhilash Ghosh, Umapati Kumar etc. were in front bearing the torch and after reaching the club tent, captain T. Aao took a run around the ground with the torch. On 22nd December, a cricket match was organized between Mohun Bagan ex-players and CAB XI. Cornel C. K. Naidu and Mustaq Ali were present during this match. The unbeaten 34 by Gostho Paul helped Bagan to win the match. Next day, a football match was organized between Mohun Bagan ex-players and IFA XI. Mohun Bagan won the match by 2-1. Abhilash Ghosh, the scorer of the winning goal in 1911 IFA Shield was the referee in this match. Other three players of 1911 IFA Shield winning team, Hiralal Mukherjee, Kanu Roy and Habul Sarkar were also present. Even the then Minister of Irrigation, Mr. Bhupati Majumdar also participated in the football match for IFA XI. On the fourth day of celebration, a hockey match was organized between Mohun Bagan and BHA. Fifth day was celebrated with a tennis tournament and the celebration ended with an athletic competition where all the club officials took part. Famous persons from different fields sent complimentary messages for the Club. On this auspicious occasion, West Bengal’s Chief Minister Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy commented, “It was with pride and pleasure that I witnessed the victory of Mohun Bagan in the Shield Tournament in 1911. Following as it did the nationalist movement in political Bengal, this event was welcomed by all of us, young men of those days, as the harbinger of greater things for Bengal and for this country. The club has maintained its traditional superiority in sports in Bengal. Although the club is attaining the age of 60, it still retains the vigor of youth. May the club continue to foster the sporting spirit in this dear land of ours.” This year club won Chandicharan Memorial Shield, Coochbehar Cup, William Younger Cup and Trades Cup.

The Combined Group of The Swedish Football Team Helsingborg and Mohun Bagan

The Combined Group of The Swedish Football Team Helsingborg and Mohun Bagan

Home Ceremony

"Homa" ceremony at 14, Balaram Ghosh street on December, 11, 1949

Procession 1949

Dr. Girish Ghosh with the torch in the procession

T.Aao Torch 1949

T. Aao carried the torch as last runner and lighted the flame on peristyle made for the occasion

Mohun Bagan Team 1949

Mohun Bagan Football Team, 1949

In 1950, performance of Mohun Bagan was not good; won only Trades Cup. Club reached the final of Durand Cup but lost to Hyderabad City Police. In the same year club was unfortunate to loss one of its stalwarts Sri B. K. Ghosh (Gagan Babu) who was an old and active member of the club and also a member of the Board of Trustees. This year Chandrasekhar Sen was selected as the Secretary of the club (1950-1952). Dr. S. K. Gupta, Barrister-at-Law was elected as the Vice-President (1950-1955) of the club. He was also elected as the member of Board of Trustees in the vacancy caused by the death of Sri B. K. Ghosh. Being invited by the Chief Commissioner of the Andaman and Nicober Islands, the club, after completion of the football season, undertook a trip to the Andaman Islands with a majority of junior players. Dr. Sanmatha Dutt was the manager of the team.

In 1951 Mohun Bagan won First Division Calcutta Football League; reached the final of IFA Shield but lost to East Bengal by 0-2 on the second day after the first day draw. In Durand Cup the result was same; club reached the final where on the first day of the match the club was leading by two goals to nil against Hyderabad Police. When there were only five minutes left our goal-keeper was seriously injured; Dr. T. Aao heroically took the place of the goal-keeper. Unfortunately, during the closing minutes we conceded two goals to our opponents and the first day of the final ended in a draw. In the replayed final, after an initial lead we lost by 1-2. The First Asian Football Championship was played at the First Asian games held in New Delhi and four Mohun Bagan players- Sailen Manna, T. Aao, Abhay Ghosh and Runu Guha Thakurata were selected in national team for the competition. Sailen Manna was selected as the captain of the team. India won the final match defeating 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 Guha Thakurata were also selected in that team.

In 1952, Mohun Bagan won the IFA Shield. Three Mohun Bagan players- Sailen Manna, M. A. Sattar and Runu Guha Thakurta were selected in the national squad for the Helsinki Olympics of 1952. Sailen Manna was the captain of the team. For both the Olympics of 1948 and 1952, Mohun Bagan’s players captained the Indian Team. During this year, club lost two of its most valuable members by the sad demise of Maharaja Sris Chandra Nandy Bahadur of Cossimbazar, a Patron of the club and Sri Chandra Sekhar Sen, the Hony. Secretary. Sri S. M. Basu (1953-1968), Solicitor, was elected the Hony. General Secretary in place of Sri Chandra Sekhar Sen. Sri S. N. Kar (1952-1960), Solicitor, was elected as the Vice-President of the club.

In 1953, Mohun Bagan won the first ever Durand Cup. In the final showdown Mohun Bagan defeated National Defense Academy by 4-0. Samar Banerjee and S. Raman both scored a brace each for Bagan. The team for the final match was - K. B. Bharadwaj, Sushil Guha, Purnendu Barua, Ratan Sen, Subhas Sarbadhikari, Sambhu Ghosh, Rabi Das, Samar Banerjee, S. Raman, Abdul Sattar and J. Anthony. Babu Rajendra Prasad, the then honorable President of India was the chief guest of the prize distribution ceremony. Dr. Rajendra Prasad congratulated the Mohun Bagan team saying: “Mohun Bagan is my favourite since childhood when I was a student in Calcutta. I used to come straight from the college whenever Mohun Bagan used to play in Calcutta maidan, to watch them from distance because I did not have enough money to buy a ticket and go inside the ground. All through my life, and up till now, I follow Mohun Bagan Club’s activities in the field of sports with great interest”. The Statesman reported “Mohun Bagan’s sparkling 4-0 win in final. National Academy outplayed in one sided match”. This year club lost Sri Hriday K. Ghose, a trustee of the club.

1953 Durand Cup Winning Team

1953 Durand Cup Winning Team of Mohun Bagan

In 1954, club won the First Division of Calcutta Football League as well as the IFA Shield (defeating Hyderabad XI by 1-0) and thus achieved the coveted “DOUBLE” for the first time. A new chapter thus added to the history of the club. Club invited to play an exhibition match against an Australian team, Grazers Athletic Club and defeated the team by 2-1. In the same year, club also played against the Afghan Football Team and defeated the visitors by 3-0. This year Indian Team visited Soviet Union on a Goodwill Mission Tour under the captainship of Sailen Manna. Ratan Sen, the right-half of our club was also selected for the Russian tour. During the second Asian Games at Manila, Philippines, Sailen Manna (Captain), P. Venkatesh, S. Dutta, M. A. Sattar and Samar Banerjee from Mohun Bagan represented India.

Team that grabbed the Calcutta Double Crown in the year 1954

Team that grabbed the Calcutta “Double Crown” in the year 1954

In 1955, Mohun Bagan won the Rover’s Cup for the first time. In the same year, club retained the First Division Calcutta Football League under the able captaincy of Sailen Manna. This year club was specially invited by the IFA and AIFF to play exhibition matches against the Russian National Football Team and the Swedish National Football Team (who came to India on a Goodwill Mission tour). The club lost to both by three goals to nil. Later, the Club played a friendly match on invitation against the visiting football team from Austria. Mohun Bagan played brilliantly but lost by 1-2. This year club also got the invitation to visit Far East.

In 1956, Mohun Bagan won the IFA Shield defeating Aryans Club by 4-0 and took the sweet revenge of the defeat in 1940 IFA Shield final. This year club also won First Division Calcutta Football League consecutively three times and reached the final of Rover’s Cup but lost to Md. Sporting Club by 1-3. At the starting of the season, in February and March, on invitation through the Ministry of External Affairs, Govt. of India and The Indian Consulate at Medan (Indonesia) Mohun Bagan club went to play a series of exhibition football matches at Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia under the captaincy of Sailen Manna. All credits for the arrangement of this tour went to Mr. Dhiren Dey, the then Club’s Asst. General Secretary. Karuna Bhattacharya and Sailen Dey was Joint Secretary for this tour. The team members were- Ratan Sen, Sushil Guha, D. Mukherjee, Swaraj Chatterjee, Purnendu Barua, Subhasis Guha, M. B. Narsiah, Chandan Singh, Chuni Goswami, Kesto Paul, Samar Banerjee, S. Raman, Parimal Majumder, R. Guha, Sailen Manna (captain), M. A. Sattar (Vice-captain); and Pradeep Banerjee whom club took as a lien from Eastern Railway. The club created quite a sensation in the far Eastern countries by its wonderful display; played total 12 matches in this tour among which won in 7 matches. In Indonesia, the first match was played against P.S.M.S.-B team, Bagan won by 2-0. In the second game Mohun Bagan got a 1-0 victory over P.S.M.S.-A team. The third match was against a strong side named P.S.P; the match ended in a 4-4 draw; Kesto Paul scored a hattrick while P.K. Banerjee scored the rest one. In the fourth match against Garnijowel Club, Bagan lost by 2-3. The fifth match was against P.O.P. Dynamo, where Bagan got a convincing 3-1 victory over the opponent. The last match of Indonesia tour was against Bintan Mebah Club; in this match too Bagan demolished their opponent by 5-3. From Indonesia Mohun Bagan went to Singapore; at Singapore, the first match was against Indo-Chinese combined team; Bagan won by 4-3. The second match played against China-Malay combined team, in this match Bagan got a 3-2 victory over their opponent. The third and the final match at Singapore was against Singapore combined team; in the last match Bagan lost by 1-2. From Singapore the team went to Hong Kong where they played three matches; the first match was against the strongest side All Hong Kong team, but in that match Mohun Bagan just thrashed out their opponent, got a 6-2 victory. The second match was against Hong Kong combined XI and in this match Bagan registered a 5-0 win; but in the last match lost by 0-1 to Combined Chinese XI. This year National Team participated in Melbourne Olympics; Samar Banerjee, Kesto Paul, Chuni Goswami, Swaraj Chatterjee and Sushil Guha were selected in the Olympic trial matches. Out of those five players, Samar Banerjee and Kesto Paul were finally selected to represent Indian team in the Olympic while Chuni Goswami, Swaraj Chatterjee and Sushil Guha were stand-byes. Samar Banerjee was elected to lead the Indian Team; this meant that three consecutive Olympic Captains were selected from our club, T. Aao (1948), Sailen manna (1952) and Samar Banerjee (1956). Swaraj Chatterjee, Sushil Guha, Samar Banerjee, M. Kempiah, Kesto Paul and Chuni Goswami were selected to represent India in the far eastern and Burma tour this year. Samar Banerjee was elected as the captain. Chuni Goswami though selected could not make the trip as he was captain of Calcutta University team which ultimately won the Inter-University Championship. That year, club lost one of its greatest stalwarts, Sri Salil Mitra (Matal Babu), who took a keen interest in the affairs of the club till his death. He was the Hony. Asst. General Secretary from 1934-1936; Hony. Treasurer from 1937-1941 and a Trustee from 1945-1956 when he died.

1956 Calcutta League Winning Team

1956 Calcutta League Winning Team of Mohun Bagan

1957 was a sad year for the Mohun Bagan club; the club could not manage to grab any trophy in this season.

In 1958 club reached the final of IFA Shield but lost to arch rival East Bengal by 0-1 on the second day after a 1-1 draw in the first day. Club also took second position in the Calcutta Football League. Out of the 33 matches played in the Calcutta Football League and IFA Shield the club won 23, drew 9 and lost 1. This year for the Tokyo Asian Games, Kempiah, Ahmed Hossain and Chuni Goswami were selected from Mohun Bagan in the National Team; but Chuni Goswami again could not make the trip as he was once more to captain the All India University team for playing a few football matches at during the Independence Week of that country. This year Sir Birendranath Mukherjee (1958-1961) was selected as the President of the club.

In 1959, season opened with participation in the Rovers Cup tournament; the club lost to Caltex in the semi-final. Once more the club had the distinction of winning the First Division of Calcutta Football League. The club reached the final of the IFA Shield, the opponent was East Bengal and we lost the final by 0-1. Mohun Bagan was the champion in Durand Cup defeating Mohammedan Sporting by 3-1 in the second day, after the first day 1-1 draw. At the prize distribution ceremony, President Rajendra Prasad praised the sporting spirit of Mohun Bagan Club. Later in this year, club participated in some Charity Match at the request of Delhi Football Association to raise the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund for Assam; Prime Minister Nehru was present during the matches. Immediately after the match, the ball, which was played in the game, was auctioned, the Prime Minister himself acting as the auctioneer. The ball fetched Rs. 15,000/-, the bid was given by one of the very old members of the club Sri M.L. Khaitan. Sushil Guha, Kempiah, Chuni Goswami and Jarnail Singh were selected in Indian squad for the Pre-Olympic Football Tournament at Kabul. In the same year, Mardeka Tournament was held in Kuala Lampur; Kempiah and T. A. Rahaman were selected in National Team for the club. Sri Arun Ghosh was selected to represent the Calcutta University in the Inter-University Tournament.

1959 Durand Cup Winning Team

1959 Durand Cup Winning Team of Mohun Bagan

1960 was a golden year for Mohun Bagan. This year club annexed the Calcutta double crown - IFA Shield (beating Indian Navy by 1-0) and Calcutta Football League and also was the joint winner of Durand Cup. That year at the Pre-Olympic Match of the Rome Olympic which was played in Calcutta and Djakarta, Mohun Bagan’s Jarnail Singh, Chuni Goswami, Kempiah and T. A. Rahaman were selected in National Squad. India won both the games and qualified to play in the final Olympic. Later in the final Olympic held in Rome, Chuni Goswami, Jarnail Singh and Kempiah represented India; T. A. Rahaman could not be selected as he had suffered a very serious injury during the training period at Hyderabad Camp. The club altogether played 42 matches (Durand Cup, Calcutta Football League and IFA Shield) won 36, drew 5 and lost 1 (against eastern railway in the first half of the League). The outstanding success of the club was due to the great enthusiasm of the Football Sub-Committee and specially the Football Secretary Sri Sailen Manna; and Sri Balaidas Chatterjee. Sri Manna even volunteered to play when seven of our players went to Hyderabad for Olympic training. Sri Manna played 12 matches in place of Jarnail Singh, and considering his age he played wonderfully well and ultimately helped the club become the League champion.

1960 Calcutta Football League Winning Team

1960 Calcutta Football League Winning Team of Mohun Bagan

1960 IFA Shield Winning Team

1960 IFA Shield Winning Team of Mohun Bagan

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