Dipendu takes a trip down McDowell Mohun Bagan memory lane7-Aug, 2012
McDowell Mohun Bagan striker Dipendu Biswas talks to us about the time he spent with the club and his fondest memories of playing for the club.
MMB: Say something about your early days as a footballer.
Dipendu: I was born in Basirhat and was playing for the local clubs there. Alok da (ex-captain of Mohun Bagan Aloke Das) took me to TFA for trial. At that time, Habib Sir and PK Sir were the coaches in TFA. I got selected in the year 1992-93.
I stayed in TFA till 1997. Our batch was one of the best in TFA. In The IFA Shield quarter final, we defeated East Bengal 4-0 where I scored one of the goals. Also we defeated Mohun Bagan in Durand Cup semi final by a solitary goal, I scored the only goal of the match. That year, in the final of Durand Cup we lost to East Bengal in tie-breaker. The match was leveled at 0-0 after 120 minutes. In tie breaker, Renedy Singh failed to score for TFA.
While in TFA, every year we used to go to Germany for 2 months where we won the Harlem Cup and Euro Cup.
In 1995, while in TFA, I got a chance to play for the U-16 Indian team. I scored against Iran, Indonesia and Malaysia. The next year, I signed for Mohun Bagan but initially could not play because I was called to the U-19 Indian team, where I scored hattricks against Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Seeing my performance, coach Akramov gave me the chance to play for the Senior National Team which was touring Iraq. Other than myself, from TFA, Lolendra Singh, Renedy Singh and Abhay Kumar got chance in the Indian Senior team.
MMB: In 1997, Amal Dutta introduced the Diamond system in Indian Football.
Dipendu: Yes, that year under Amal Dutta, Mohun Bagan played great football. He introduced a new formation to Indian football, Diamond Formation. In Kolkata League that year, I was the highest scorer.
After we lost to East Bengal in the Federation Cup semi final, I scored in the very next derby match which we won 1-0. There is a very interesting story regarding this match.
Dipendu celebrates a goal with Du and Noel Wilson
MMB: Please share with us.
Dipendu: In 1997, we were playing great football but unfortunately lost badly in the Federation Cup semi final match. I was a bit injured at that time and went to my home in Basirhat. There, slowly I was recovering from injury. Few days before the Kolkata League derby match, Mohun Bagan striker Roshan Perreira suddenly got injured and coach Amal Dutta called me back. I still remember, Uttam da (Current Football Secretary Uttam Saha) went to Basirhat and brought me back to Calcutta in a Bullet bike.
Coach Amal Dutta for the next 3 days gave me head practice. He was throwing up the ball and I was scoring by header. After the practice, Basudev Mondal and Amit Das were constantly sending crosses towards me and giving me heading practice.
However, on the match day, Roshan Perreira said he is fit and wanted to play the match. I was kept in the reserve bench. In the 2nd half, Tutu Bose came down from gallery, went near the reserve bench and asked Amal Dutta to bring me as a replacement. Within 5 minutes, I scored the winning goal by header.
That match was in a way turning point of my career in Mohun Bagan. After that match, I scored 13 goals in Calcutta Football League in 8 matches to become the highest scorer and helped Mohun Bagan to win the Calcutta Football League.
That year in the National Football League also we defeated East Bengal 2-1, myself and Chima were the scorers for Mohun Bagan.
In DCM Tournament, we defeated FC Cochin in the semi final and then defeated TFA 2-0 to win the tournament. Here also, Chima and myself scored the goals.
We unluckily lost to FC Cochin in Durand Cup final that year.
MMB: In DCM final, after scoring against TFA, you said something to Amal Dutta near the reserve bench. Did you have any grudge against Amal Dutta?
Dipendu: Actually, in DCM that year, I scored goal in all the matches till semi final, but suddenly I was dropped in the final match. I was very upset with our coach Amal Dutta. Since the opponent was TFA, I badly wanted to be in the starting lineup, because I had a healthy competition with few players of the TFA. While in the TFA, there used to be matches between the senior and junior batch.
Anyways, in the 2nd half, Anjan Mitra came near the reserve bench and requested Amal Dutta to bring me as a replacement. Within minutes, I scored from an acute angle. I became a bit excited and came running towards the reserve bench. Chima scored another goal in the match and we defeated TFA 2-0. I was adjudged Man of the Tournament.
After the match, Amal Dutta said to me "Dipendu, I purposefully kept you in the reserve bench. See you became a hero by playing for around 30 minutes." I was upset with him but after hearing this comment, how can I say anything to him? (laughing).
Dipendu in action
MMB: Mohun Bagan won the National Football League for the first time that year.
Dipendu: After the Rovers Cup, Amal Dutta was sacked due to some controversy. Chattuni came as a coach and we won the National Football League that year. I scored 4 goals in that tournament. I scored the winning goal against East Bengal as Mohun Bagan won the match 2-1. I scored the only goal of the match when Mohun Bagan defeated Mahindra 1-0. Myself and Chima also scored against Salgaocar and Churchill Brothers as we defeated them 2-0 and 2-1 respectively.
There was a token system at that time by which a player could not play more than a certain number of matches in a year. Since myself and Basudev Mondal played many matches that year in all the tournaments, our token had finished and we could not play the last 4-5 round matches.
MMB: You came back to Mohun Bagan in 1999 and won the National Football League for the 2nd time.
Dipendu: In total, I have won 3 National Leagues, 2 for Mohun Bagan and 1 for East Bengal. In 1999, apart from winning the National League, we also won the IFA Shield.
Mohun Bagan was adjudged the best team of Asia for 1 month in that season.
We won the National League in the 1999-2000 season very convincingly. We were declared Champions with 2 rounds to go. That year we had a lot of good players in the forward line. Jose Barreto was playing for the first time in Mohun Bagan. Then there was Igor who finished as the highest scorer in the league and Stephen Abarowei. I used to come as a replacement.
Against SBT, we were trailing by 1 goal to nil. I came as a replacement and scored 2 goals. Mohun Bagan won the match 2-1, the match was played in Rabindra Sarobar Stadium. Then I also scored against Dempo Sports Club in Goa, we defeated Dempo 3-2. I scored the 2nd goal for Mohun Bagan. The other 2 goals were scored by James Singh and Jose Barreto.
Dipendu and Chima
MMB: You once more came back to Mohun Bagan and stayed for 2 years, in 2005 and 2006.
Dipendu: In 2005, we won Calcutta Football League and All Airlines Gold Cup while in 2006, Mohun Bagan won the Federation Cup and Super Cup.
In the Calcutta Football League in 2005, Mohun Bagan had already become Champion and we just needed a victory in our last match against Mohammedan Sporting to become the unbeaten Champions. The match ultimately ended in a 2-2 draw. I scored the 1st goal for Mohun Bagan by header and was unlucky to miss a late goal. My push from handshaking distance of the goalkeeper was going in, but suddenly due to heavy mud in the goal line, the ball stopped just on the goal line and goalkeeper dived and collected the ball when he saw the ball had stopped at the goal line.
That year in CFL, we defeated East Bengal 1-0 in both the matches.
We also won the All Airlines Gold Cup in Burnpur beating Mohammedan Sporting 1-0 in the final match.
We won the Federation Cup in 2006. We defeated Churchill Brothers, Dempo Sports Club and Sporting Clube de Goa in quarter final, semi final and final respectively. All the matches we won via tie breaker. Against Churchill Brothers, we were down 1-2 and I scored the equalizing goal minutes before end of the match.
Mohun Bagan clinched the Super Cup defeating Dempo 4-0 with Baichung Bhutia scoring a hattrick.
I scored my career's 200th goal in 2006 when I scored against Mohammedan Sporting in CFL. In CFL, I also scored a hattrick against Chirag United. I became the highest scorer in CFL that year.
MMB: Thank you for your time Dipendu
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