One of the biggest Milestone in the history of Indian Football came in year of 1911. When Mohun Bagan’s eleven took on team from East Yorkshire Regiment. Many feel this was one of the first waves of revolt against the British through sports. India’s oldest Football club from Kolkata (Mohun Bagan) was invited to take part in the prestigious Indian Football Association (IFA) Shield in 1911. 29th July every year is celebrated as Mohun Bagan day.
Mohun Bagan Athletic Club was merely 22 years old at that time. But they had already etched their names into the heart of Indian Football.
In a nail biting match Mohun Bagan defeated East Yorkshire regiment 2-1 in the IFA Shield final in 1911. Many feel this victory further motivated the whole nation to push for Independence. The Team’s Gaffer and Coach was Sailen Basu. This Match was no less than a symbol of Nationalism for the people of India. 29th July 1911 is a date that recorded its greatest ever Indian sporting victories. As a matter of fact East Indian Railways started a special train to bring a large number of football fans and crowds to witness the game.
Mohun Bagan presented eleven players that played the whole match Bare-Feet. Not only bare feet , the Indian team was far less trained in comparison to the 11 of East Yorkshire Regiment. Mohun Bagan might have lacked in the areas of skill and techniques of football. But their fighting spirit alone proved to be the winning recipe of the game.
Although East Yorkshire Regiment scored the first goal of the game in the opening minutes of the first half. Sergeant Jackson scored the first goal of the game from a well worked play. Just like any sports movie things were not going according Mohun Bagan’s way. But Skipper Shibdas Bhaduri had other plans for the visitors as he scored terrific goal to bring the score to 1-1. Then in dying minutes of the game Abhilasha Ghosh made it 2-1 just before the final whistle. At the end of the final whistle Mohun Bagan had defeated East Yorkshire Regiment 2-1 to life IFA shield. The Indian crowd exploded with tears of joy and excitement. Those 11 players were just not any footballers, they were national heroes.
A Newspaper reported, “The members of the Muslim Sporting Club were almost mad and rolling on the ground with joyous excitement on the victory of their Hindu brethren.” Mohun Bagan’s victory over the British team spread across India like wild fire. The playing eleven of that Mohun Bagan team were all awarded the Mohun Bagan Ratna,later.
The NASDAQ tribute
Today, that is on the Mohun Bagan Day in 2020, the club went global as it became’s India’s first ever sports team to feature on the NASDAQ billboards in Times Sqaure of New York. It is a matter of pride for the nation that in a first, a sports entity is featured on NASDAQ.
“It is a matter of great pride for all Mohun Bagan fans and supporters, shows the kind of stature the club enjoys. No Indian sports club has ever featured on something like this,” Debashis Dutta of Mohun Bagan expressed.
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