It was year 1889. The Indian Independence movement against the British rule was spreading rapidly after the uprising of 1857. It was a period of growing political awareness, manifestation of Indian public opinion and emergence of Indian leadership at national and provincial levels. The spontaneous and widespread rebellion fired the imagination of the Indian nationalists throughout the country. Under these circumstances, the birth of the Mohun Bagan club on the 15th of August, 1889 was not just about organizing a football club, but a step forward towards promoting a patriotic feeling - an awakening spirit in Bengali hearts. Mohun Bagan - not just a club, but a national institution!
The pioneer of Mohun Bagan Sporting Club, as it was named, was the, then, eminent lawyer Bhupendranath Basu, who later on became the president of Indian National Congress. The Basu Family, the Mitra Family, and the Sen Family bestowed equal efforts towards the foundation of the club. The first meeting of the club, presided upon by Basu himself, was held at his residence at 14, Balaram Ghosh Street, North Kolkata .The Secretary was Jatindranath Basu. That historical day witnessed the presence of many distinguished persons who were involved in many social reforms.
Among them were:
- 1. Bhupendranath Basu
- 2. Jyotindranath Basu
- 3. Maharaja Durga Charan Laha (Maharaja of Shyam Pukur)
- 4. Maharaja Rajendra Bhup Bahadur (Maharaja of Coochbehar)
- 5. Monilal Sen
- 6. Jyotindranath Mitra
- 7. Sir Bhupendranath Mitra
- 8. C.C Dutta (I.C.S)
- 9. Ram Goswami)
- 10. Hemnath Sen (better known as Fonbabu)
- 11.Girin Basu
- 12. Roybahadur Chunilal Basu
- 13. Upen Ghosh
- 14. Manomohan Pandey
- 15. Dr.Manindranath Basu
- 16. C.K Sarkar (Architect)
- 17. Pramathanath Chattopadhyay
- 18. Sir Brajendralal Mitra
- 19. Satish Chandra Mitra
- 20. Susheel Chandra Mitra
- 21. Sarat Chandra Mitra
- 22. Sir Nripendranath Sarkar
- 23. Sir Prabhash Mitra
- 24. Dr.Ganendranath Mitra
- 25. Prafulla Basu
- 26. Prabhash Basu
- 27. Hriday Krishna Ghosh
- 28. Sir Rajendranath Mukhopadhyay
- 29. Major S.K Ghosh (I.C.S)
The first ground of the Club was inside the famous marble palace, owned by Kirti Mitra of the Mitra family, known as Mohun Bagan Villa. It was situated at Fariapukur Street of North Kolkata. But as a football ground this was not sufficiently large. It is believed that Mohun Bagan played their first match on this very ground against the students of Eden Hindu hostel.
The players of the initial team included:
- 1. Girin Basu
- 2. Pramathanath Chattopadhyay
- 3. Sachin Bandhyopadhyay
- 4. Ram Goswami
- 5. Sarat Mitra
- 6. Hemnath Sen (Fonbabu)
- 7. Nalin Basu
- 8. Upen Ghosh
- 9. Manindranath Basu
- 10. Manilal Sen
- 11. Manomoham Pandey
- 12. Probhas Mitra
About providing new memberships for the club, the management preferred students with due permission from their respective parents. Jatindranath Basu took special attention towards etiquettes and education. On the eve of first birthday of the club, some students of Presidency College, who were also the members of Mohun Bagan, invited their Professor, the famous Grammatologist Prof. F.J. Rhow. The professor asked whether the club did organize rifle shooting or angling or other miscellaneous related activities. Knowing that there are no such activities of the club, he suggested that instead of 'Sporting', the word 'Athletic' will be more appropriate . The members agreed and changed the name to "Mohun Bagan Athletic Club". The 2nd anniversary assembly was presided upon by Sir Thomas Holland who later on was appointed as the member of Governor General Council. In 1891, with the help of the Maharaja of Shyampukur, Durga Charan Laha, the club ground was relocated to his ground at Shyampukur. That place is now known as Shyampukur Laha Colony. Later, with the help of Mr. Harry Lee, the chairman of Kolkata Corporation, the ground was again shifted to Shyam Square. The ground was shared with the Aryans Club and Bagbazar Club. The first tournament of Mohun Bagan was the Coochbehar Cup held in 1893. Mohun Bagan's first opponent was the European team, the 'C' Company of Sussex Regiment. At that time, the other opponents of Mohun Bagan were National A.C., Town Club, Aryans, Calcutta Medical College, Shibpur B.E College. St. Josephs College, Kumartuli, Ft. William's Arsenal and the famous Sovabazar Club, founded by the father of Indian Football Nagendra Prasad Sarbadhikari. In 1895 and 1898, Jatindranath Mitra and Bhupendranath Mitra were chosen as secretaries of the club respectively.
In 1900, Subedar Major Sailen Basu took the charge as the secretary of the club. He paid highest attention towards the physical training and fitness of the players, something which had qualified knowledge about, gained during his service at the Army. And that showed great results. 100 years ago Mohun Bagan won Coochbehar Cup, in the year 1904, which was their first trophy. The year 1905 saw Mohun Bagan emerge as the winner of the Coochbehar Cup as well as the Gladstone Cup. At the Gladstone Cup finals, Mohun Bagan defeated Dalhousie (winner of that year's IFA Shield) by 6 goals to 1 .From 1906 to 1908 Mohun Bagan set a new record by winning the Trades Cup for consecutive 3 times. At that time, the Trades Cup was the next prestigious tournament after IFA Shield. In 1906, Mohun Bagan also won the Minot Fort Competition by defeating Calcutta Football Club. That year, the Mariners missed the chance of participating for the IFA Shield because P K Biswas, who had played for National A.C., also played for Mohun Bagan in the same year. This was considered illegal by IFA and therefore, Mohun Bagan was disqualified for that year. In 1907 and 1908, Mohun Bagan also won the Gladstone Cup and Coochbehar Cup. In 1909 Mohun Bagan won the Laxmibilash Cup for the first time.
Club Secretary Subedar Major Sailen Basu was the first and the highest Ranking Indian Officer of the 49th Bengal Regiment. Basu's role towards the club and team-making is remarkable. Such as the arrangement for a new club tent, a new ground, making a good football team and increase the number of Club members. In 1900, Mohun Bagan became the partner of Presidency College and shared the same ground at Kolkata Maiden (Ground). Mohun Bagan continued to play here for 15 years. Then in 1915, Mohun Bagan acquired the ground of National A.C. On this ground, Mohun Bagan played till 1963. In 1915, that ground stretched eastâ€“west. But afterwards, it became northâ€“south like the other club grounds in Kolkata Maidan. Presently, that ground is occupied by one of the oldest clubs of Kolkata, the Aryans Club, which shares the ground with the East Bengal Club. Membership fee for ordinary members was 8 Annas (Anna - unit of Indian currency at that time. 16 Anna = 1 Rupee), and 4 Annas for the students. There was no discrimination regarding collection of membership fee from the rich to the poor. But the fund was not sufficient to build club premises on the Ground. That a meeting was held among the Club Officials became known. Jyotindranath Basu, Sailen Basu, Dwijen Basu, Sir Bhupendranath Mitra and Dr. Girish Ghosh were present. The meeting was regarding the construction of Clubhouse. Surprisingly, after some days, people noticed a clubhouse inside the Mohun Bagan Maidan premises. There is no evidence of this in the financial records of the club. The patrons remain unknown to us till date.
The first opportunity to participate in an IFA Shield came in 1909. At that time, the participation in the IFA Shield itself was an honour because not all teams were allowed to avail of the opportunity. The other lucky four teams were Sovabazar, Town Club, Heir Sporting and Chinsurah Sporting. But Mohun Bagan was eliminated in the second round after being defeated by Gordon Highlanders by three goals to nil. In the next year, after winning the Laxmibilash Cup and the Asanulla Cup, Mohun Bagan lost to Rifle Brigade in the second round of the IFA Shield.
From 1910 to 1912,Mohun Bagan consecutively triumphed Bengal Gymkhana Shield. Obviously Mohun Bagan earned the highest position among all the Indian teams.
Then came the year 1911,one of the most memorable years, in the history of Indian football. Mohun Bagan reached the final after defeating St. Xavier's in the first round, by 3 goals to nil, Rangers in the second round by the same score again, Rifle Brigade in the third round by 1 goal to nil and Middlesex Regiment in the Semifinal .The first day of the semifinal was a draw. But finally Mohun Bagan reached final after victory by 3 goals to nil against Middlesex Regiment.
The 29th of July 1911. Mohun Bagan lost in toss and was placed towards Eden Garden and East York towards Fort William. The match referee was H.G.Puller. Under the captaincy of Shibdas Bhaduri, the Mohun Bagan players entered the ground surrounded by thousands of supporters hopefully looking forward for the victory. The captain of the East York team was Sergeant Jackson. The total match time at that time was 50 mins and a break of 5 mins in between was given. In the first half, Mohun Bagan maintained an aggressive approach. The efforts of Kanu Roy, Shibdas Bhaduri and Bijoydas Bhaduri are worth mentioning. Equally attacking was East York. But no goal was secured. In the second half, Mohun Bagan was under tremendous pressure. At the end of 15 minutes, Sergeant Jackson lobbed the ball to score the first goal. But hardly 5 mins had passed when Shibdas Bhaduri of Mohun Bagan equalized on the scoreboard. And eventually after a restless tug of war, Mohun Bagan experienced the final strike. The hero of this historical moment was Abhilash Ghosh who hit the neat goal, by grabbing a quick pass from Shibdas, just at the verge of the end of the game, when only 2 minutes were left. Mohun Bagan won the IFA Shield. All the spectators were astonished by the stunning performance of Mohun Bagan. The Indians burst in ecstasy. The most incredible fact of the game was that all the players of Mohun Bagan were barefooted.
And those outstanding 11 players of the final match were:
- 1. Hiralal Mukherjee(Goal)
- 2. Bhuti Sukul(Back)
- 3. Sudheer Chatterjee(Back)
- 4. Monmohan Mukherjee(Back)
- 5. Rajen Sengupta(Back)
- 6. Neelmadhav Bhattacharya (Half back)
- 7. Kanu Roy (Forward)
- 8. Habul Sarkar(Forward)
- 9. Abhilash Ghosh (Forward)
- 10. Bijoydas Bhaduri(Forward)
- 11. Shibdas Bhaduri(Forward)
Newspapers throughout the world, namely, London Daily, Manchester Guardian, Singapore Times as well as local newspapers like Empire, Weekly Mussalman, Comrade etc., published the news of Mohun Bagan's victory, appreciating and complimenting their skill and courage.
"For the first time in the history of Indian Football, a core Bengali team, Mohun Bagan, won IFA Shield by defeating a competent British team. Though about 80,000 spectators were present on the ground, but most of them could not see the match. By noticing the flying of kites, they were following the actions of the match. And when they came to know about the win of their team, they started tearing off their shirts, waving them, tearing their hairs." Reuter, London.
Manchester Guardian commented "The team comprising of the Bengalis won the IFA Shield by defeating three top military teams. 80,000 Indians will remain witness to this event. There is nothing to be surprised at. The team that is physically more fit, has sharp surveillance and intelligence, wins."
"The members of the Moslem Sporting Club were almost mad rolling on the ground on the victory of their Hindu brethren." The Mussalman, Calcutta.
That year Mohun Bagan also won the Gladstone Cup and Asanullah Cup. But in the next year, 1912,it won only the Asanullah Cup. This year's win was the third consecutive win.
The crowd on 29th July 1911. It has been estimated more than 80 thousands spectators were there.
At the beginning of the 1913,Shibdas Bhaduri handed over the charge of captainship to Habul Sarkar.But unfortunately no victory added to Mohun Bagan's credit this year. It was this year when Gostho Pal, better known as the Chinese wall, joined the Club as back. His first match was against Dalhousie F C at the age of 16 only. He continued to play for 22 years thereafter as successful back. He also took responsibility of captainship from 1921 to 1926.
In 1914,for the first time, Mohun Bagan was given the opportunity to take part in Calcutta Football League's Second Division, as a national team. First year 91 Highlanders won the League. Mohun Bagan and Messerers shared the second position. As 91 Highlanders was a military team, it was eliminated from the League, as per IFA rules. For the first Division League, Mohun Bagan confronted Messerers on the Caledonian Ground. First day resulted in a draw, but Mohun Bagan lost on the second day by 2 goals to 1. But fortunately, Mohun Bagan got the opportunity to compete in the First Division, since RGA team emptied a position by withdrawing from the League.
Meanwhile, Subedar-Major Sailen Basu had to leave Calcutta for his commitments in the Military Service for the first world war.The responsibility of Club Secretary-ship was handed over to Dwijendranath Basu., nephew of Bhupendranath Basu. Dwijen was only 15,when he started playing, and he was the then best center forward . Dwijen served for Mohun Bagan,as a member of the Working Committee from 1912 to 1915,as the honorary Secretary from 1915 to 1923,as Asst.-Secretary in 1924,as Honorary General Secretary from 1925 to 1932.During this time, the association of 'Gaice Babu' - D N Guin (Deben) is worth mentioning. He was the Ground Secretary of the Club in 1911-12, Asst.-Secretary from 1913 to 1923 and a member of the Working Committee in 1924. In 1914 and thereafter, Mohun Bagan participated in many charity matches to raise funds for different social reforms. This year, Mohun Bagan celebrated their Silver Jubilee.
From 1915, Mohun Bagan started playing in the First Division League.On 15th May 1915, the first match was against Calcutta Club. The match resulted in draw. Participants of this match were:
- 1. Hiralal Mukherjee (Goal)
- 2. Gostho Pal (Back)
- 3. Bhuti Sukul (Back)
- 4. Habul Sarkar (Half-Back)
- 5. Abhilash Ghosh (Half-Back)
- 6. Sanyal (Half-Back)
- 7. Babu (Forward)
- 8. Chatterjee (Forward)
- 9. Dafadar (Forward)
- 10. S.Bhaduri (Forward)
- 11. Bhattacharya (Forward)
Mohun Bagan succeeded in occupying the fourth position in the League. That year Mohun Bagan's Junior Group reached the Semi-finals of the Trades Cup as well as the Coochbehar Cup. On the other hand, Mohun Bagan reached the Semi-finals of IFA Shield Competition.
In 1916, Mohun Bagan occupied the second position in the Calcutta League.
In 1917,Club lost to Middlesex in the IFA shield.
In the year 1920, Mohun Bagan reached the semi-finals of IFA Shield, but lost to Kumartuli by two goals to one. Kumartuli's Tulsi Dutta,Habul Mitra and goalkeeper T Dey performed excellently in this match and reached the final but lost the Shield.
In 1921,the match between Mohun Bagan and Calcutta Club was stopped due to the huge crowd, which gathered to support Mohun Bagan. The Mariners were declared runners-up, while the winners were Dalhousie.
In 1922, an Indian team from South Africa arrived. Mohun Bagan played football and cricket exhibition matches with them.
In 1923, Mohun Bagan reached the final of IFA Shield again, but was defeated by Calcutta Football Club by 3 goals to nil. This year, Mohun Bagan was invited for taking part in Bombay's (now Mumbai)Rovers' Cup. Once again, Mohun Bagan reached the finals and lost to Derham's Light Infantry by 4 goals to 1.
In 1924, a 35-year long association with Bhupendranath Basu, for Mohun Bagan, came to an end after his demise. This damage could never be mended. After him, Sir Rajendranath Mukherjee became the new President of the Club.
In 1925, Mohun Bagan created another history by getting invitation for playing in the Durand Cup as the first ever Indian team, which was not a military team. In those days only British had the sole right to participate in the Durand Cup. Mohun Bagan defeated Royal Berkshire regiment in the first round, the York Lancaster Regiment in the second round and the Essex Regiment in the third round, but lost to Sherwood Forest at the Semi-finals. But, they came in as the runners-up at the Calcutta League. Simultaneously, Mohun Bagan continued to play charity matches all over the country for fund raising.
In 1926, the Club lost Shield in the third round to Sherwood Forest and lost Durand Cup to Derham's Light Infantry.
1927 Mohun Bagan Team - Standing from left Dr.Sanmatha Dutta, R.Bose, Santosh Dutta, Aungshu Sur and Mona Dutta. At chair from left Gostha Paul, Umapati Kumar (Captain), D.N.Guin (Asst.General Secretary), Naren Banerjee and Moti Sengupta. At the ground from left Asit Ganguly, Aitili and Sudhanshu Basu.
In 1927,the Club played another charity match with Cheshire Regiment for the flood relief fund. In the same year, the Club won the Governor's Cup of Hazaribagh, and lost to Wiltshire Regiment.
Year 1928 brought three victories to Mohun Bagan's credit. It won the Power League, the Coochbehar Cup, and the Laxmibilash Cup.
In the year 1929, due to a clash during the match of Mohun Bagan and Dalhousie, all the Indian teams withdrew their names from the IFA membership. Later, it was negotiated on the condition that there would be equal number of European and Indian team members.
In 1930, none of the Indian clubs, including Mohun Bagan participated in the League as well as IFA Shield because of the prevailing political turmoil. However, Mohun Bagan won the Suryakanta Shield of Moimonsingh that year.
In 1931, Mohun Bagan defeated Leicester regiment, the Prince of Wales and Calcutta Customs but lost to Highland Infantry. That year the club lost its key person Subedar-Major Sailen Basu. On his memory, they handed over a Shield to IFA, which was to be rewarded to the winning team of the exhibition match between the European and Indian teams, each year.
In 1932, Sibdas Bhaduri, the icon of Mohun Bagan's 1911 team passed away. An award was declared for the Captain of each year's Shield winning team as his memento. Dwijendranath Basu, brother of Sailen Basu, who was in the charge of Secretaryship for a long time, Club's founder members P.N.Mitra and Ajay Kumar Barat also passed away this year. Famous Barrister Shailendranath Banerjee became the Honorary General Secretary of the Club.
In 1933,Club lost to York and Lancashire in the IFA Shield, but won the Dwarbhanga Shield, the Governor's Cup of Hazaribagh and Lady Shifton Shield. Gostho Pal, after being elected as the Captain of the Club, left for Ceylon(Sri Lanka). Karuna Bhattacharya and Samad were also included in the team.
Next year, in 1934, Dr.Sanmatho Dutta was sent as the Captain of IFA team for a South African tournament as a substitute for Gostho Pal, as Pal was ill. Satu Chowdhury and Karuna Bhattacharya were also included.
In 1935,Abdul Hamid from Quetta (now in Pakistan) who joined Mohun Bagan, played as a center half wearing boots. Hamid was the first player to have inspired the others to play with boots.
In 1936, the club's second Secretary, Sir Rajendranata Mukherjee and 1911 team member Bijoy Das Bhaduri expired.
In 1937, Club's third Secretary, Sir Bhupendranath Mitra, and two other important associates of Mohun Bagan, Dr.J.N.Basu and Jatindranath Mitra also expired. In the same year, at the Shield tournament, Club lost to List shire Regiment in the fourth round, during extra time. Mohun Bagan played its first international match in home country this year against Englishton Corinthians of England. It was an exhibition match and despite losing by 0-1 goals, it held a celebration party to pay tribute to the winning team. Such was Mohun Bagan's attitude. It was not only an organized football team, it was an elite club. And still it is, the cream of the crop. That's why, regarding the selection of the Captain of the National Football Team, Mohun Bagan's players have been chosen a number of times.
In 1938, for the Australian Tournament, Karuna Bhattacharya was elected the Captain of the Indian team.
In 1940, the thenGeneral Secretary Barrister Sailen Banerjee became the Vice President of theClub. That year, the Club once again, reached the finals of the IFA Shield andlost to Aryans by 4 goals to 1.
In 1941, BarristerB.C.Ghosh replaced Sailen Banerjee. He was elected as the General Secretary.Sadly, Club samaritan Deven Guin left us.
In 1942, for thefirst time ever, an Insurance Scheme was implemented for the medical aid of theinjured players during match. A Medical Board comprising of reputed doctors wasformed. A Trustee Board was also formed, an initiative of Solicitor B.K.Ghoshand Barrister S.K.Gupta, for the monetary support of the Club. The FirstBoard's prime members were Jatindranath Basu, S.N.Banerjee, P.N.Mitra, CIEHriday Ghosh, Solicitor B.K.Ghosh and Kumar Ramendra Narayan Roy.
In 1943 and 1944,Mohun Bagan won the Calcutta League in succession. In 1944, B.C.Ghosh became theVice-President of the Club and Dr.S.K.Gupta took charge of the GeneralSecretary. In the meantime, the junior Football team was formed under theleadership of famous footballer Balai Das Chatterjee. He tried to popularizebaseball and rugby, too. In the same year, Kanai Sen passed away whocontributed a lot towards the development of the Club.
In 1945, MohunBagan's Vice-President and first Captain, Manilal Sen and ex-member SirN.N.Sarkar passed away. This year, Cartis, England and Arsenal footballerprovided coaching to the Club. On the request of the Calcutta Newspapers ReliefFund Committee, the Club played a charity match for the Flood Relief Fund forthe people of Midnapore.
In 1946, Club lostits founder - Secretary and existing President, Jatindranath Basu. Basu'scontributions for the Club's development are endless and incomparable.
In 1947, MohunBagan got an invitation for the Madura Cup; they were beaten, however, byHyderabad Police in the final. On the way of return, the Club's players tookblessings of 'Sree Ma', better known as 'Mother' at the Aurobindo Ashram ofPondicherry. Another glory added to Club's credit this year when Mohun Baganagain won the IFA Shield. This year, the Club once again participated in RoversCup, but the match was dismissed in middle of the game due to the collapse ofKuparez Stadium. On 15th Nov, the same year, the Club won the Calcutta Shieldalso by defeating East Bengal.
A very remarkablecoincidence it was, that the year of Indian Independence fetched two major achievementsfor Mohun Bagan. After independence, Mohun Bagan became the first club to win theIFA Shield. This year, from 5th Nov to 23rd Nov, one of the founder members ofthe Club, Sir Brajendralal Mitra was authorized as the provisional Governor ofWest Bengal.
On 1948's 22ndAugust, the Club again won the IFA Shield by beating Bhabanipur Club. They,however, missed the Calcutta League and were left behind as runners-up. T.Aao(who later became the Director of Health Services of Nagaland Govt.), MahavirPrasad and Sailen Manna departed for the London Olympics to represent theIndian team, which was captained by T.Aao. Along went Balai Das Chattopadhyay,the existing Secretary of the Club, as a Coach and Trainer. During his absence,legendary player Goshta Pal took up the responsibility of the Secretaryshiptemporarily. Anil De also got the opportunity to participate in the Olympicsbut he refused and played for the domestic tournaments. Dr.Gupta was the year'sGeneral Secretary, the Asst. General Secretary was D.B.Sen (Dati) and theCaptain of the Club was D.Sen (Bakai). Mohun Bagan's players representing Indiafor the Olympics and two efficient personnel, Pankaj Gupta and Panna Aahir,were felicitated by the Club.
Later this year, famoushalf-back of 1911, Manmohan Mukherjee and eminent Barrister B.C.Ghosh passedaway. Ghosh was a dedicated Trustee, who served Mohun Bagan for 5 years as Hon.General Secretary and later as Vice President.
The Clubfelicitated wicket keeper P.Sen and Pankaj Gupta, the manager of the Indiancricket team for the first Australian tournament.
BarristerA.N.Chowdhury became the Vice President of the Club who was associated with theClub for long 10 years.
In the same year, theAfghanistan Government invited Mohun Bagan on the occasion of their Independencecelebrations but the Club could not attend because of its preplanned agenda. Onthe occasion of 'Kashmir Dibas' opening, the Club went to Delhi to participatein some charity matches on behalf of the Defence Department. Air Vice MarshallShubrata Mukherjee felicitated the Club. IPS Pranab Kumar Sen was the Club's manager,then.
Earlier he was amember of the Mohun Bagan hockey team. Defence Minister Sardar Baldev Singhhimself felicitated the Club at his residence where Governor GeneralChakravarty Raja Gopalachari was present.
1949 was the yearof Diamond Jubilee Celebrations. On this occasion, the Club invited Swedishfootball team Helsingberg and played three matches. On 11th Dec, a vividprocession started from Mohun Bagan's birthplace - 14, Balaram Ghosh Street. Onthe 17th of December, a big gathering was organized where about 3000 guests,associates and members gathered. Party ended with lighting colorful fireworks.Top political leaders, ministers and eminent sports personalities had sentcomplimentary messages for the Club. Among them were India's Cricket Control Board'sPresident, A.S.Dimello; hockey Captain Dhyan Chand; Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel;Governor of Bihar, Madhav Sri Anne; Governor of Assam, Sri Prakash; Governor ofWest Bengal, Kailashnath Katju and Land Reform Minister, Bimal Chandra Singh.On this auspicious occasion, West Bengal's Chief Minister Dr. Bidhan ChandraRoy commented, "I am proud and very delighted that, fortunately I havewitnessed the IFA Shield tournament of 1911.During the freedom struggle, MohunBagan's existence inspired the youth. In the sports world of Bengal, MohunBagan has still maintained its excellence. Even after traversing 60 years,Mohun Bagan has still kept its youth unaffected. I pray that on our belovedMotherland, Mohun Bagan's sporting spirit may survive forever."
In 1950, Club's another ex-associate, B.K.Ghosh (Gagan Babu)left us. Gagan Babu was the Asst. General Secretary in 1939, the year when the Clubwon the Football League for the first time. This year, Dr.S.K.Gupta was electedthe Vice President of the Club and Gagan Babu was nominated as the Trustee.Dr.Gupta was the General Secretary of the Club from 1944 to 1950. Later,Chandrashekhar Sen took charge.
In 1951, Mohun Bagan reached the finals of Durand Cup. Onthe first day of finals, Mohun Bagan was leading throughout the match butduring the last few minutes, the goalkeeper was seriously injured and left theground. Dr. Talimeren Aao replaced him.Hyderabad Police, later, equaled the scoreboard with 2-2 goals. The match endedin a draw. On the second day, Club lost by two goals to nil. In the same year,Mohun Bagan lost to East Bengal on the second day of the finals of IFA Shieldafter the first day draw. But, alongside were some achievements such as LeagueChampionship and the Asian Games Football Championship - won for the firsttime. That year, Asian Games took place at Delhi, where four players from MohunBagan were selected for the Indian Football Team, namely, Sailen Manna, T.Aao,Abhay Ghosh and Runu Guhathakurta. The team was captained by Manna. Indiadefeated Iran by 2-0 goals. After Asian Games, the Indian football teamtravelled to Far East Asia, again under the captaincy of Sailen Manna.M.A.Sattar and Runu Guhathakurata were also selected.
In 1951-52, Maharaja Srish Chandra Nandi passed away, so didGeneral Secretary, Mr. Chandrasekhar Sen. Eminent Solicitor Sourendra MohanBasu became the Secretary of the club. At the same time, Sourendra Nath Kar waselected the Vice President of the Club. Here a point must be noted thatMr.S.N.Banerjee, Mr.B.C.Ghosh, Mr.S.K.Gupta and Mr.S.M Gupta - all the foursecretaries of Mohun Bagan Athletic Club - got the honour to become thesecretary of IFA. At the Helsinki Olympics of 1952, 3 Mohun Bagan players wereselected. They were Sailen Manna (Captain), M.A.Sattar and Runu Guhathakurta.For both the Olympics of 1948 and 1952, Mohun Bagan's players captained the IndianTeam. After two days of drawing with Rajasthan Club, that year, the IFA ShieldFinal was absconded.
Mohun Bagan won their first ever Durand Cup in 1953. In thefinal match at Delhi, Mohun Bagan beat the National Defence Academy of Dehradunby 4 goals to nil. His Excellency, Honorable President of India Babu RajendraPrasad was the Chief Guest of the prize distribution ceremony. He said, "MohunBagan was my favorite team from my childhood. I was a regular visitor of allMohun Bagan matches, when I was a student at Kolkata. Sometimes, when I didn'thave money to buy the ticket, I could not stop myself. I watched the match fromoutside. I was always kept myself updated with the news of the club". In thesame year, Club lost another trustee Mr.Hriday Ghosh.
Club won the double crown for the first time in 1954 bywinning the League Championship and IFA Shield by beating Hyderabad XI. Anotherglorious moment was when Mohun Bagan beat the Gresers Club from Austria by 2goals to 1. In the same year, Mohun Bagan beat the visiting Afghan NationalTeam by 3 goals to nil. In 1954, Indian Team visited Soviet Union under thecaptaincy of Sailen Manna. Ratan Sen of Mohun Bagan accompanied Manna. Butafter the Soviet tour, during the IFA Shield, Sailen Manna was seriouslyinjured. S.Dutta of Mohun Bagan became the top scorer of the year, while theyoungest player of the squad, Subimal Goswami, better known as Chuni, becamethe second highest scorer. During the 2nd Asian Games at Manila, Philippines,Sailen Manna (Captain), M.A. Sattar, P.Venkatesh, S.Dutta and Samar Banerjee(Badru) - all ace Mohun Bagan footballers - were included in the Indian Squad.
1955 witnessed Mohun Bagan again as the League Champions. Inthe same year, Mohun Bagan got the opportunity to play with the visiting Sovietand Swedish teams. But Mohun Bagan was defeated by three goals to nil in boththe matches.
1956 was a memorable year for the Club. In this year, MohunBagan lifted the Rovers Cup for the first time. Later, the Mariners took partin a match with the visiting football team from Austria. After a strugglingfight, they were defeated by 2 goals to nil. Then Mohun Bagan lifted both theCalcutta crowns by becoming League and IFA Shield champions. Including thisyear's victory, Club won League for 3 consecutive times. Existing ClubSecretary was veteran Mohun Bagan player Karuna Bhattacharya. Since Mohun Bagangot the invitation to visit Far East again, so the team did not participate forthe Durand Cup that year. Club's Asst. General Secretary Dhiren Dey took allthe responsibility to arrange the tour for Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore andMalaysia. Karuna Bhattacharya and Sailen Dey were appointed as JointSecretaries for this tour. The team included Sailen Manna (Captain), M.A.Sattar (Vice Captain), Ratan Sen, Sushil Guha, D.Mukherjee, S.Chatterjee,P.Barua, Subhasish Guha, M.B.Narsia, Chandan Singh, Chuni Goswami, K.Pal, BadruBanerjee, S.Raman, Parimal Majumdar and R.Guha. That tour of Mohun Bagan earnedhigh esteem for the Indian Football.
In 1956, in Melbourne Olympics, Samar Banerjee(Badru)captained the Indian team. Kesto Pal was also selected in the team. ChuniGoswami, S.Chatterjee and Sushil Guha were selected as reserve players. Thatyear, an ex-Club Official associated with the Club, Salil Mitra (Matal Babu)passed away. Salil Mitra provided a lot of assistance to the Club throughouthis life. From 1934-36, he served as the Asst. General Secretary, from 1937-41,as the Treasurer, and from 1945-56, as the Trustee of the Club.
In 1957, Mohun Bagan lost to Mohammedan Sporting Club in thefinals of Rovers Cup by three goals to nil. Once again Samar Banerjee (Badru)was given the responsibility of leading the Indian Team for the East tour. Inaddition, S.Chatterjee, Sushil Guha, Kempia, Kesto Pal and Chuni Goswami wereselected. But Chuni had to stay back as he was elected the Captain of theCalcutta University Team in the International University Football Tournament.Chuni led the Calcutta Team to a Championship win. In 1957-58, the Club did notdo well in Rovers Cup and Durand Cup Tournaments. In the First Division League,the Club was left as runners. In the IFA Shield finals, Mohun Bagan had tocompete with East Bengal. The first day ended in a draw. But the IFA failed to organize the match on the second day forthat year.
In 1958, for the Tokyo Asian Games, Chuni Goswami, AmedHossain and M.Kempia were nominated for the Indian Team. But once again Chunihad to refuse, to accept the captaincy of the Calcutta University Team. In1958-59, Mohun Bagan had to quit the Tournament at the Semifinals. On the otherhand, the Club won the Calcutta Football League and reached the finals of IFAShield Championship against East Bengal. IFA failed to organize the final matchin September. Afterwards, the final washeld in January 1959 and East Bengal won the match by 1-0 goals.
Later, the Club participated in a charity match at therequest of Delhi Football Association for the aid of the Prime Minister'sRelief Fund. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru himself was present at the ground.He told Dr.Bidhan Roy that he was a Mohun Bagan admirer. In Kabul'sPre-Olympics Football Tournament, Mohun Bagan's Sushil Guha, Kempia, JarnailSingh and Chuni Goswami were selected for the Indian team. And in Kwala Lumpur'sMerdeka Football Tournament, Mohun Bagan's T.A.Rehman and Kempia were electedfor the Indian Team. Another Mariner Arun Ghosh played for the CalcuttaUniversity Team in the International University Football Tournament.
At the commencement of 1959-60 football period, Club won theDurand Cup by defeating Mohammedan Sporting Club by 3-1 goals. At the prizedistribution ceremony, President Rajendra Prasad praised the sporting spirit ofMohun Bagan Club. Soon after this accomplishment, the first Division LeagueChampionship and the IFA Shield Championship were added to Club's glory. TheClub defeated Indian Navy at the IFA Shield finals. This year the Club alsoplayed another Charity Match with Indonesia's National Team for the PrimeMinister's Relief Fund. At the end of the game, the football used in this matchwas auctioned by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, which was bought bydistinguished industrialist and Mohun Bagan's senior member M.L.Khaitan with Rs.14,000.
In 1959-60, total number of matches played by Mohun Baganwas 42, among which the Club won in 36 matches, made a draw in 5 matches andlost in only 1 match against Eastern Railways. The credit for thisextraordinary achievement goes to Club Secretary Sailen Manna and Asst. GeneralSecretary Dhiren Dey and Balai Das Chattopadhyay. Though Sailen Manna was agedat that time, he did not turn down when Jarnail Singh was absent and played ashis substitute in 12 matches. He also played in the charity match of PrimeMinister's Relief Fund.
That year the Club adopted the three-back system and ArunSingh became the Coach. Within a very short time, he established himself as asuccessful coach of the Indian national team.
In 1960, at the Pre-Olympic Match of the Rome Olympics, the Indian team included Mohun Bagan's Chuni Goswami, Jarnail Singh, Kempia and T.A.Rehman. Two matches were held at Calcutta and Jakarta. Later in the Olympics, Chuni Goswami, Jarnail Singh and Kempia were selected and T.A.Rehman was not included, as he was badly injured.
In 1961, Mohun Bagan secured an invitation from some East African countries and Mauritius. The initiative was taken by Asst. General Secretary Dhiren Dey. Chuni Goswami captained the tour and his team comprised of Narsia (Vice Captain), Sanat Seth, C.R.Das, Parimal Sarkhel, A.Rahman, Manik Goswami, Jarnail Singh, A.Banerjee, Deepu Das, A.Chakraborty, Chidanandan, Salauddin, Sushil Guha, Suhashish Guha, Sunil Ghosh, Binu Chatterjee and Arumoy Nigam. Sailen Manna and Karuna Bhattacharya became the Joint Managers of the Club. In 19 matches, Mohun Bagan won 15, lost one and the rest were drawn. Four matches were indicated as test matches, among which Mohun Bagan won two, lost one and one draw.In the total tour, Club goaled for 61 times and lost to keep goals for 21 times. In this whole tour, Mohun Bagan achieved towering admiration and popularity in East Africa .In Mauritius, though the Club did not do well but achieved equal popularity. In 1961, in Kuala Lumpur's Mardeka Football Tournament, Chuni Goswami as captain, M.Kempia, Jarnail Singh and T.A.Rehman represented India. In the meantime, the Chief Minister of Bihar, Shri Binodananda Jha requested his West Bengal counterpart Dr. Bidhan Roy for participating Mohun Bagan in another charity match for the aid of Bihar Relief Fund. In the first match, Mohun Bagan defeated Mohammedan Sporting Club by three goals to nil. In the second match, Mohun Bagan defeated Bihar XI by two goals to one. In both the matches, Jha, himself, was present and the total amount of money that summed up tallied around to Rs.40, 000. In the Santosh Trophy, nine Mohun Bagan players represented the Bengal team. This was a record in football history. They were Chuni Goswami, T.A.Rehman, Jarnail Singh, Kempia, A.Chakraborty, Sunil Nandy, Deepu Das, Sukumar Samajpati and Amio Banerjee.
In 1962, the Indian national team won gold in Asian Games, which occurred at Jakarta. The team was captained by Chuni Goswami and also included Jarnail Singh and Arumoy Nigam. In the 1960 League Championship, both Mohun Bagan and East Bengal earned 40 points. A play-off match was arranged in which Mohun Bagan defeated East Bengal by two goals to one and attained Championship and recorded history by summing up to 10 victories in the League Championship. The joy doubled when Mohun Bagan once again won the IFA Shield for the third consecutive time by beating one of the best teams of India, Hyderabad XI. In this match, Mohun Bagan players showed outstanding merit. Later, in Asian Games, Chuni Goswami, Jarnail Singh and Arumoy Nigam represented the Indian team captained by Chuni. During the match, Jarnail Singh got hurt while playing as a back player. India's coach Syed Abdul Rahim, fondly known as Rahim Saheb, did not show him the way to the pavilion. Instead he was placed as centre forward. Singh showed impeccable performance which led India to Championship. This was India's last Asian Games win. In the same year, Mohun Bagan went to Hyderabad, Madras (Chennai), Bangalore (Bengaluru), Ceylon (Sri Lanka) tournaments. Among 11 matches, Club won 6, lost 1 and 4 were drawn. On 27th April, one of Mohun Bagan's iconic footballers, Gostha Paul received the Padma Shri Award from the then President Dr. Rajendra Prasad. On this occasion, the Club also felicitated him at an elegant function. At the function, the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Dr.Bidhan Roy and existing Congress President Atulyo Ghosh were present. Unfortunately, on 1st July, Dr Bidhan Roy passed away. Roy's contribution for the Club was significant. In memoriam, Dr.Bidhan Chandra Roy Memory Committee was formed. For the fund of this committee, the Club gathered Rs.1, 50,000 by playing in different places including Bihar, Assam, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mysore, Madras (Chennai), Durgapur, Burnpur, Shyamnagar etc. In 1963, once again Mohun Bagan fetched the Calcutta League title. This was their 11th triumph in the League Championship. Mohun Bagan also won the Durand Cup by defeating Hyderabad Police 2-0. But the same Hyderabad Police defeated Mohun Bagan by 1-0 goals in the Rovers Cup. Club had to quit IFA Shield Championship in the fourth round. In this year Mohun Bagan became the shareholder of the Calcutta Football Club's ground. The Calcutta Football Club was a rival of Mohun Bagan for a longtime. Club left the old joint ground of Mohun Bagan-East Bengal and built its own tent. General J.N.Chowdhury inaugurated the new tent of Mohun Bagan on the new ground.
In 1964, Mohun Bagan's legendary player Chuni Goswami was presented the 'Arjuna Award'. The Club celebrated this occasion by felicitating Chuni . In this year, Club once again lifted the Durand Cup by defeating East Bengal. Platinum Jubilee year 1964 was a very memorable year for multiple successes. This year, the Club won CAB Cricket League, Cricket Knock Out, Aga Khan Gold Cup in hockey, Invitation Gold Cup; in football, the IFA Shield, the League and Durand Cup. Besides, the Athletics Section of the Club attained recognition in West Bengal as the Champion team and won a trophy. In Rovers Cup final against BNR, the first day ended in a draw. On the second day, the Club lost as a result of a goal allowed through penalties. After winning the League Championship, in the IFA Shield, fight was against their all-time rivals, East Bengal Club. The match ended in a draw at 1-1. Mohun Bagan's P.Thangaraj, Jarnail Singh, Arumoy Nigam, M.Banerjee and Chuni Goswami were selected in the Pre-Olympic Football Tournament, for which Chuni Goswami captained the Indian Team.
The Platinum Jubilee of Mohun Bagan was celebrated throughout the year. At the end of the festival, Club issued a massive book as a souvenir. It consisted of the historical events in a pictorial sequence and complimentary remarks of eminent persons of different fields from all over the country. It was evident from this book that Mohun Bagan was no more a club but an esteemed institution. General Secretary Sourindra Mohun Basu wrote all the admirable victories of the Club and mentioned that Dhiren Dey has significant involvement in the whole year celebrations. Equal efforts were made by Goshta Pal, Umapati Kumar, Balai Das Chattopadhyay, Dati Sen etc. In this matter, Dhiren Dey said that, "..in the adornment of the festival, not only did the 5,500 members provide a helping hand, but I also felt the whole country come forward for providing assistance because they consider Mohun Bagan a symbol of a national institution. My efforts were supported by a group of active workers and friends. I will remain grateful, throughout my life, to five veteran players of Mohun Bagan - Sarbashri Gostho Pal, Balai Das Chatterjee, J.Ghosh, R.Sen(Kanai Sen) and Umapati Kumar for bringing me from Aurora Club to play in the Cricket Team of Mohun Bagan. He also said that Mohun Bagan is a national institution that has garnered international fame. He also said, " In the world of sports, Mohun Bagan is an unique example in its sincerity in accepting and respecting the referee's decision as the final decision. This Club is a real democratic Club as it executes elections, keeps track of financial documents, maintains regular audits and sends to the authorities. Mohun Bagan's popularity was known but the plenty of messages sent from different countries proved that the Club is loved and respected by the whole world." Platinum Jubilee celebrations continued throughout the year like a mini-Olympic Games season. For the arrangement of various sports events, assistance came from different parts of the world. Many countries participated in these events. A Commonwealth Cricket Team visited India to participate in a match which comprised of P.E.Richardson of England as Captain, B.Mortimer, Keith Andrews, Lane Coldwall, Bryan Close, Garfield Sobers of West Indies, Collie Smith, C.Butcher, Lance Gibbs and Mustaq Mohammed of Pakistan. The manager was Ulf Gover from England. The Indian team comprised of Nawab Pataudi as Captain, Abbas Ali Beg and M.L.Jaisimha from Hyderabad; Chandu Borde, Bijay Manjrekar, Ramakant Desai, S.Sardesai and Farokh Engineer from Maharashtra; Salim Durrani and Hanumant Singh from Rajasthan; Chandrasehkar from Karnataka; Prakash Poddar and Shamsundar Mitra from West Bengal.
The Indian hockey team (which won Gold in the Tokyo Olympics) played an exhibition match with a Calcutta XI assembled team. Tatabania football club from Hungary came to participate here with seven players of its National Team, which won Gold in Olympics that year. The German Athletic team and Indian Athletic team jointly participated in a exhibition match. Also, a hockey team from France took part in some matches. In the exhibition match of tennis, Bob Hewet and Martin Mooligan of Australia, Mike Sangstar of England, Ramanathan Krishnan, Joydip Mukherjee, Premjitlal and Naresh Kumar of India participated. Year-long celebrations of the Platinum Jubilee started from the historical place of 14,Balaram Ghosh Street's house. On 5th November, a procession headed towards Club's new tent via Rajpath. Thousands of people gathered to witness the procession. They greeted with exultant screams. Afterwards, according of the thought of Dhiren Dey, for the first time ever in India, formed a relief Fund for the players, which will not be limited within the Mohun Bagan players' contributions. For this fund, Club will not depend on the Club's Finance but save a limited amount from the fund collected in the charity matches. This was the idea. Dey dreamt of making Club's own stadium. He also thought that Mohun Bagan would remain open for international front for its membership grant. Dey wanted that Mohun Bagan would not only be a national Club, but an international Club. Truly, the way Mohun Bagan celebrated the Platinum Jubilee is unparallel in the world of Sports history. It was then a Club of a country, which just achieved independence and a non-government organization. Mohun Bagan's status proved that sports was not limited in victory. Mohun Bagan succeeded in establishing a worldwide friendly atmosphere in the world of sports. In 1965, Club attained first division League Championship and Durand Cup. In 1966, on 24th May, a match between Mohun Bagan and Eastern Railway was in progress. During the match, the then Vice President of the Club and IFA, Dati Sen passed away. About 25 thousands spectators present on the ground paid respect to the deceased by standing in silence for 2 minutes. After some days, according to the plan thought out by Dhiren Dey, the Club decided to construct a concrete gallery for the Club members, because maintaining wooden gallery apart from plenty of expenses of making of football, cricket and hockey teams was difficult. The Club was under monetary pressure. The total sum of the subscription of members was not sufficient. The old wooden gallery was unsafe, and the making of concrete gallery was expensive. Besides, the permission of Fort William was pending. Mohun Bagan did not give up, though. It adjusted by decreasing the expenses of team making.
This year, Club won Rovers Cup. In 1968, Mohun Bagan again won Rovers Cup. Club also won Amritabazar Centenary Cup. Year 1969 was a precious year. This year, the Club achieved a number of triumphs. First Division League, IFA Shield, First Division Hockey League, CAB organized First Division Cricket League, First Division Cricket knock out Tournament and Aga Khan trophy, all added to Mohun Bagan's credit. In the IFA finals, Club won by 3-1 goals and one of the players, Pranab Ganguly showed an outstanding performance.
From 1970 to 1972, three years in succession, Mohun Baganwon the Rovers Cup.
In 1971, the Indian Government honoured Nation's Pride, Mohun Bagan's Sailen Manna, with the Padma Shri.
This year, Mohun Bagan donated towards the aid of those injured in the Bangladesh War.
In 1972, Club won Rovers Cup jointly with East Bengal. This year, Mohun Bagan welcomed East Bengal heartily at a dinner party, on winning a triple (Durand Cup, Rovers Cup and the IFA Shield), as per the Club's tradition.
In 1974, the Club won Durand Cup and the Bordoloi Trophy.This year, the Indian Chamber of Commerce made arrangements for floodlights on the Mohun Bagan ground, thanks to the efforts of Dhiren Dey. But, unfortunately, Calcutta Police declined the idea because it would be difficult for the horse-ridden police to work at night, as horses cannot see at night.Nevertheless, as per the requirement, the Club arranged for functions and some matches under floodlights.
In 1975, the Club lifted the Bordoloi Trophy and the Gorkha Brigade Gold Cup of Darjeeling but unfortunately had to face a heavy defeat against East Bengal in the IFA Shield Championship by five goals to nil. This year, the construction of concrete gallery was finally completed.
In 1976, the Club once again won in a number of tournamentsincluding the First Division League, IFA Shield, the Rovers Cup (jointly), the Bordoloi Trophy and the Gorkha Brigade Gold Cup of Darjeeling.
This year, Mohun Bagan's legendary icon, Goshta Pal, famously known as 'The Chinese Wall', passed away on the 8th of April.
In the same year, on the 24th of July, MohunBagan's Akbar scored a goal in the 16th second of the match and rammedit in by defeating East Bengal.
In 1977, the Club won the IFA Shield, Durand Cup, Rovers Cupand Bordoloi Trophy. On the 22nd of September, due to the efforts of Dhiren Dey, Mohun Bagan invited the American soccer club New York Cosmos for an exhibition match. Famous football legend, Edson Arantos Jo Nascimento, betterknown as, 'Pele', came to Kolkata along with many players of international fame, like Alberto of Brazil; Jinarjio Chinaglia of Italy; Keith, Edi, Charlie,Atken and Mike Dillon of England; Ramon Mifin of Peru; Wernarroth and Ditomir Dimitri Jevich of Yugoslavia; Erol Yasin from Turkey and some players of Canadaand United States. The match took place at the Eden Gardens on the 24thof September, where a crowd of 80,000 spectators had gathered, including the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Shri Jyoti Basu and many other ministers.
In 1978, the Club won the First Division League, IFA Shield,Federation Cup, Durand Cup, and Sait Nagji Trophy of Calicut. In the same year, they defeated East Bengal, thanks to a spectacular goal by Shyam Thapa in the IFA Shield final.
In 1979, Mohun Bagan won the First Division League, IFAShield, Durand Cup and the Gorkha Brigade Gold Cup of Darjeeling.
In 1980, Mohun Bagan won the Federation Cup, jointly withEast Bengal. Later, this year, Mohun Bagan won the Durand Cup at Delhi. However,Kolkata Football League had to be abandoned this year due to the tragicincident on the 16th of August at Eden Gardens during a Mohun Bagan- East Bengal match. A total of sixteen football fans died at that incident. Fromthat day forth, the date 16th of August has been observed as"Football Lovers' Day", and every year, that day has been celebrated withblood donation camp as well as other functions being organized across Kolkata.
In 1981, the Club showed good performance as Mohun Bagan wonthe IFA Shield, the Federation Cup, the Sait Nagji Trophy and the Rovers Cup.
In 1982, the Club won the IFA Shield, the Durand Cup, the FederationCup and the Gorkha Brigade Gold Cup.
In 1983, the Club wonthe First Division League.
In 1984, the Club won the First Division League, the DurandCup, the Bordoloi Trophy, and the Sikkim Governor's Gold Cup. This year, astatue was established in honour of Goshta Pal in the Goshta Pal Sarani. Later,the Indian Government issued a stamp and the first day cover, in honour of GoshtaPal. In the same year, the Government of India honoured Chuni Goswami with thePadma Shri.
In 1985, the Club won the Durand Cup, the Sikkim Governor'sGold Cup and the Rovers Cup.
In 1986, the Club won the First Division League, the DurandCup, the Federation Cup and the Sikkim Governor's Gold Cup.
In 1987, the Club won the IFA Shield and the Federation Cup.
In 1990, the Club lost the man who protected Mohun Baganlike his son for over half of the century - Dhiren Dey. In the same year, theClub opened its doors for foreigners, for the first time in its 100-yearhistory. Cheema Okorie, the giant Nigerian striker played his first matchwearing the green and maroon jersey, in the first CFL match of that year. TheClub won the CFL this year under the captaincy of Satyajit Chatterjee - alegend who never changed his Club for his sheer passion on Mohun Bagan.
1991 was a good year for Mohun Bagan. They put in a goodperformance as Mariners won the Rovers Cup, Sikkim Governor's Gold Cup and AllAirlines Gold Cup for the first time. The Airlines Gold Cup was marked as anunlucky tournament for Bagan before, as they failed to clinch one. But winningthis trophy in 1991 helped Mohun Bagan proved that theory wrong.
1992 also proved tobe a good year for the club won the Calcutta Football League (CFL), the FederationCup, the Rovers Cup and the Sikkim Governor's Gold Cup. Achintya Belel, thetrue follower of Mohun Bagan great Subrata Bhattacharya, was the captain forthis glorious year.
In 1993, the Club were crowned the champions of the FederationCup again. They also went on to lift the Airlines Gold Cup for the second time.
In 1994, the Club won the Calcutta Football League, the DurandCup, the Federation Cup and the Sikkim Governor's Gold Cup. This year, MohunBagan created history by winning the Federation Cup tournament for the thirdtime in three consecutive years.
1995, however, was not a good year for the team, as the clubcould only lift the PNB Centenary trophy. The Mariners lacked good performersand playing skills for that respective season.
In 1996, Club won the McDowell's Cup but, the tides weren'tin their favour as they closely missed many finals, that year.
In 1997, the Club won the DCM Trophy and the CalcuttaFootball League. This year, Mohun Bagan withdrew its name from the preliminaryround of the first National Football League, as a result of frequent protestsagainst the club. Yet, after having missed the first National Football League,testing times still were lying in the wings. The Club offered the services ofNigerian striker Cheema Okorie to East Bengal to help them bring the league toKolkata. But East Bengal failed to bring that.
In 1998, the Club returned to its glorious path again. The AIFF realized that without the nation'smost prestigious club, NFL would be rendered unglamorous and therefore, decidedto include Mohun Bagan in the final roster. Mohun Bagan won the NFL, the veryyear and thus, created history. This year, Mohun Bagan also lifted the FederationCup and the IFA Shield.
In 1999, the Club won the IFA Shield and the Sanghati Cup atKolkata.
The world ushered in the new millennium and the Club touchedthe sky with back-to-back Sikkim Governor's Gold Cup, All Airlines Gold Cup,Durand Cup, Rovers Cup and National Football League titles. The magic of Brazilian striker Jose Ramirez Barreto hypnotized the football fans of the country.Mohun Bagan adopted a new jersey, specially designed in the United Kingdom.
2001 also proved to be a blessed year for the club - MohunBagan displayed a good performance as the Mariners won the Kolkata FootballLeague, Federation Cup, Sikkim Governor's Gold Cup, Bordoloi Trophy and theNational Football League. Barreto continued to show his excellence.
In 2002, Baichung Bhutia arrived from England and was signedimmediately by Mohun Bagan. But the Club obtained his services for a very shorttime, as Bhutia got injured early in the season and could not play for the Clubanymore. This year, the Club saw limited success, but secured the All AirlinesGold Cup.
2003 was the year in which the Mariners, virtually, had noteam at all. There was a change in the coach this year; apart from Barreto,Renedy and Basudeb, there were no good players in the squad. Sadly, Barretoleft for Malaysia to play for Penang FC. Although Mohun Bagan lifted the IFAShield by defeating East Bengal, but the performance of this year was not up tothe mark.
2004 started with on a low note, when star player Barretoleft India without showing any reason. Mohun Bagan performed very poorly at NFL.But at this moment of crisis, the general of many battles, Coach SubrataBhattacharya returned to the Club and took over the controls immediately. Theteam secured a position of the super division of NFL. With an average team inthe new season, the Mariners started displaying good football. The Club reachedall the finals of the trophies that it took part, which is a record in itself.After being the runners-up for 4 consecutive times, Mohun Bagan won the AllAirlines Gold Cup. Another record this year was the 9 - 0 victory with the RenownSports Club from Sri Lanka in the IFA Shield. By far, that is the highestmargin for a Mohun Bagan victory against a foreign team.
In 2004, the admirers of Mohun Bagan launched their ownwebsite www.mohunbaganclub.com. The new era had begun when the fans had theirown association known as "Green and Maroon, a Group of Mohun BaganSupporters". As the social, cultural and sporting dimensions of the clubgrew wider and farther, Mohun Bagan came to be known as the most importantmulti-sport club in the world. The Green and Maroon army, with a tally of 25Calcutta League titles, 21 IFA Shield titles, 11 Federation Cup titles, 3National Football League titles, became the only other club on the continent whowas a member of the FIFA Club Task Force with Jubilo Iwata of Japan among theelite group of 12 clubs in the world.
The other sections of the club (Cricket, Hockey, Athleticsand Tennis) achieved success both at domestic and international level. Allthese have played with the full support of 7000 club members and more than 200fan clubs around the world. Mohun Bagan Athletic Club could, however, accommodateonly 7000 members. Only upon death and other types of termination of membershipwould a place be deemed vacant for a new member and after a thorough scrutinyby the executive committee, a new membership of the club would be offered.