The saga of East Bengal

THE East Bengal Membership, which was established on August 1, 1920, was the results of a conflict of egos contained in the Mohun Bagan. Membership. On July 28, 1920, Mohun Bagan was scheduled to play Jorabagan in a Coochbehar Cup tie. When the Jorabagan crew dropped its star half-back Sailesh Bose, Mohun Bagan’s vice-president and famous industrialist Suresh Chandra Chaudhuri pressed for Bose’s inclusion within the Mohun Bagan squad, a plea which the membership authorities refused. Chaudhuri walked out of the membership, and arrange a brand new crew with Sailesh Bose, Ramesh Chandra Sen and Aurobindo Ghosh. They named the membership East Bengal, after the area from which they hailed. Crimson and gold turned the membership colors, symbolising ambition, and a flaming torch turned the logo, denoting a fiery want to be the most effective. The chief patron of the membership in its early years was the Maharaja of Santosh, after whom the Santosh Trophy is called.

Subhas Bhowmick (proper), East Bengal coach, with an official exterior the membership premises.-SUSHANTA PATRONOBISH

The membership made its debut within the 1920 Hercules Cup, a seven-a-side competitors, which it received. East Bengal then entered the Indian Foot Ball Affiliation (IFA) league’s Second Division and instantly introduced its arrival by ending third. Having established itself as a crew to take care of, it started the hunt for a floor to arrange tent and practise. And right here, satirically, the membership with which it must share a floor, could be its arch-rival Mohun Bagan. With Mohun Bagan’s former associate, Nationwide AC, going defunct, East Bengal sought the permission of the authorities involved to take its place on the bottom. Regardless of Mohun Bagan’s protests, permission was granted and, in 1922, East Bengal took possession of the half of the bottom that was in the direction of Crimson Street.

In 1924, East Bengal turned joint champions of the Second Division with Cameroon B. Since Cameroon A was already enjoying within the First Division circuit, it was East Bengal’s likelihood to be elevated to the First Division league. However, beneath British rule, differential therapy for British and Indian golf equipment existed. In keeping with the principles laid down by the Governing Physique of the IFA, no more than two Indian golf equipment had been allowed to play within the First Division league. Since Mohun Bagan and Aryans, two Indian groups, had been already within the elite league, it turned all of the extra more durable for East Bengal to safe a spot. Petitions had been made for a change within the current guidelines, and within the subsequent IFA Governing Physique assembly, East Bengal was granted a spot within the premier division. Paradoxically, whereas the 9 British golf equipment agreed to the inclusion of East Bengal, it was Mohun Bagan and Aryans that opposed East Bengal’s promotion. It was East Bengal’s efforts that led to the abolition of the oppressive rule of proscribing Indian groups to simply two within the First Division, which earlier denied nice groups like Kumartuli and City to take part within the premier league regardless of being Second Division champions.

In 1925, East Bengal and Mohun Bagan clashed for the primary time and East Bengal received 1-0. Within the return match, Mohun Bagan avenged itself. Even right this moment, 78 years later, this rivalry persists.

In 1942, East Bengal membership secured its first league triumph, and the next yr it received the IFA Defend. The membership has by no means appeared again since. In 1945 it received each the First Division league and the IFA Defend. The identical yr, the crew thrashed BCCI Railways 11-Zero in a Rovers Cup tie, the best ever victory margin in its historical past. In the identical match East Bengal’s legendary Anglo-Burmese centre-forward Pagsley scored eight targets, establishing a file for the variety of targets scored by a person in a match. The next yr, within the IFA Defend, East Bengal’s S. Nayar established one other file by scoring 36 targets, which nonetheless stays unbroken.

In 1951, East Bengal turned the primary Indian crew to win the IFA Defend 3 times in a row (1949 to 1951). For this achievement, the English FA annual almanac of 1951-52 adjudged East Bengal the most effective Indian soccer membership. Following this, on invitation, East Bengal turned the primary Indian soccer crew to tour the Soviet Union and Romania. The membership additionally has probably the greatest information of fine efficiency towards overseas groups. In 1948, East Bengal defeated the Chinese language Olympic XI 2-0; in 1951, it was the Swedish FC Gothenburg that misplaced, 0-1; and in 1956, the Chinese language Olympic XI misplaced once more, 1-3. One of the vital excellent achievements of East Bengal was its 1-Zero victory over PAS Membership of Iran within the 1970 IFA Defend remaining. On the finish of the match, over 80,000 followers of East Bengal lit up Eden Gardens by holding up flaming torches excessive over their heads. This was an excellent time for East Bengal, when it received the Calcutta soccer league for a file six instances in a row, from 1970 to 1975.

When speaking about East Bengal’s successes, one has to say those that have managed the membership and guided it through the years. Within the post-Independence interval, three names stand out: J.C. Guha who was in cost from 1948 to 1969; Dr. Nripen Das, from 1970 to 78; and Dipak (Paltu) Das, from 1984 to 2000. It was throughout Paltu Das’ tenure that the modernisation of the membership passed off. He raised substantial funds, roped in sponsors and scouted for overseas gamers. It was throughout his time that the soccer part of the East Bengal Membership turned a non-public restricted firm – United East Bengal Soccer Staff Personal Ltd – when it entered right into a partnership with liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s United Breweries group in 1998. The crew was then renamed Kingfisher East Bengal. Paltu Das was the managing director of the corporate till he handed away in March 2001.

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