McDowell Mohun Bagan celebrate Centenary of Historic IFA Shield win in 191129-Jul, 2011
Kolkata , 29-Jul, 2011 :
McDowell Mohun Bagan celebrated the Centenary of the Historic IFA Shield victory over East Yorkshire Regiment in style with a two-day event that ranged from exhibition football matches to felicitations and musical performances.
The celebrations were kicked off at the McDowell Mohun Bagan Ground on the 28th of July with 5 exhibition football matches. The first match was held amongst the trainees of the Mohun Bagan Goalz Project where Team A beat Team B 3-0, followed by a match between the U-13 club team and the Mohun Bagan SAIL Football Academy; the match ended goalless.
This was followed by a match between the two academies run by McDowell Mohun Bagan, the Jalpaiguri Academy and the Mohun Bagan SAIL Football Academy, Durgapur which also ended goalless, but it was a keenly contested game. This was followed by the very popular match between media personnel and the Artists forum, where Artists forum took avenged their last year's defeat and won the match 2-0.
The largest cheer, however, was reserved for the last match of the day, which was the match between the ex-players of McDowell Mohun Bagan. As has been the case with every year, this match was cheered on by a huge crowd who had gathered to celebrate the beginning of the two-day celebrations. Around 110 ex-players of McDowell Mohun Bagan participated in the match and around 40 ex-players were also present who did not participate in the match. This match ended in a goalless draw.
The main celebrations happened on the 29th of July at the Netaji Indoor Stadium. A pleasant surprise was in store for all members and supporters in the form of a procession of the Immortal XI, which started from Maidan and went to Shyambazar. The procession contained statues of all the players who played in the Historic 1911 Final. This program was organized by Atin Ghosh.
Meanwhile, the celebrations inside Netaji Indoor Stadium started with Indrani Sen performing Rabindra Sangeet in her pleasant voice followed by Babul Supriyo singing some melodious numbers including a couple of McDowell Mohun Bagan songs. Babul Supriyo, a McDowell Mohun Bagan supporter, wowed the crowd by his witty comments and also brought Barreto, Sunil Chhetri and our new coach Mr Steve Darby on stage to dance with him and they happily obliged, much to the delight of the crowd.
An interview of Megastar Amitabh Bachchan was shown where he shared his experience of seeing McDowell Mohun Bagan matches in Kolkata in the late 60s. He also expressed his love and support for McDowell Mohun Bagan.
This was followed by the felicitation ceremony. The Honourable Chief Minister of Bengal, Ms Mamata Banerjee graced the occasion with her presence and spoke eloquently about the importance of football in Bengalâ€™s history and how McDowell Mohun Bagan has borne the mantle of football throughout the entire history of not only this state but the country. 39 ex-captains of McDowell Mohun Bagan, right from Sailen Manna to Chuni Goswami to present-day captains, Mehtab Hossain and Ishfaq Ahmed, were felicitated. The largest cheers were reserved for Subrata Bhattacharya and Jose Barreto. In fact, Jose Barreto received a huge cheer from the crowd when he entered the Netaji Indoor Stadium. The crew of the film â€˜EGAROâ€™ were also felicitated for creating such a beautiful film in honour of the 1911 Shield victory. Current Indian Striker and this yearâ€™s star recruit - Sunil Chhetri was felicitated for winning the Arjuna Award this year. The crowning moment was the awarding of MOHUN BAGAN RATNA to P K Banerjee for his outstanding service as a coach, the honours for which were done by Ms Mamata Banerjee.
Mohun Bagan SAIL Football Academy cadet Sonu Kumar was chosen Player of the Year and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was given honorary membership of McDowell Mohun Bagan .
The audience were then treated to some fine musical performances by Shreya Ghoshal who gave a sterling performance from 8 pm to 10 pm and the festivities were brought to an end with the National Anthem.
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