The commemorative monument of Immortal Eleven of Mohun Bagan who won the IFA shield vs Yorkshire Regiment on 29th July 1911 was unveiled by Mohun Bagan Club at their tent in Kolkata Maidan on December 21st last year.
Mohun Bagan football club was established in the year 1889.It is the first ever Indian club to have won the IFA Shield defeating East Yorkshire Regiment by 2-1 on 29th July 1911 to create history and make the whole world sit up and take notice of the Indian struggle for freedom against Imperial Britain.Indian govt declared Mohan Bagan as the National Soccer Club of India. 2011 was the centenary year of that great victory and the club celebrated the day in a big way.
The glittering occasion was graced by Aroop Biswas , Sports Minister, Govt. of WB, Cricket Icon Sourav Ganguly, Justice Shyamal Sen ( former Governor of WB & Chief Justice of Allahabad High court) and several International footballers and Mohun Bagan Ratnas like S. Naimuddin, Shyam Thapa, Subrata Bhattacharya, Prasun Banerjee, Gautam Sarkar, Manas Bhattacharya, Satyajit Chatterjee, Shyamal Banerjee and others.
According to Sourav Ganguly, “Sports, calibre skill isn’t related to money. It’s related to heart, it’s related to want and it’s related to determination”.
Ganguly also feels that sports improve only when Sports Administrators are chosen from amongst the Sports’ stalwarts.
Arup Biswas said , installation of the statue of Immortal Eleven of Mohun Bagan club commemorating their great victory in 1911 is highly commendable and it’s also a great tribute to the legendary footballers.
Football stalwart Shyam Thapa was really delighted to attend this grand celebration .He expressed his gratitude to Mohunbagan club for organizing such a historic event.
Mohunbagan’s General Secretary Debashis Dutta was also excited and delighted .”It’s a historical day for Mohunbagan club and we all are proud of the great achievements of our brave bare foot footballers.”
These eleven great players of Mohun Bagan Club initiated freedom movement on the football ground of India in 1911. So, it is imperative to remember these eleven great freedom fighters.
These ‘Immortal Eleven’ were:
Hiralal Mukherjee (Goalkeeper), Bhuti Sukul, Sudhir Chatterjee, Manmohan Mukherjee, Rajen Sengupta, Nilmadhav Bhattacharya, Kanu Roy, Habul Sarkar, Abhilash Ghosh, Bijoydas Bhaduri, Shibdas Bhaduri (Captain).
The whole programme was nicely designed by Mohun Bagan Club ,specially under the able guidance of Mr. Debashis Dutta.
Mohun Bagan is not just another football team of India or the world.Rather it is an emotion,that was directly linked to India’s independence movement to prove before the British that India can do even on the field.
Report- Pratyusha Mukherjee
(Author is a Sr.Journalist working for western media with 20 years of experience in covering the east and northeast, with specialisation in Defence and Sports. In her illustrated career she has covered many major events and achieved International and National media awards for Journalism).