Mohun Bagan Day 2009 celebrate with pomp29-Jul, 2009
Kolkata , 29-Jul, 2009 :
To remember and honour the valour and determination of the Immortal XI, McDowell Mohun Bagan observes this day as the Mohun Bagan Day. The Mohun Bagan Ratna is awarded to a senior player of the yesteryear, whose services have brought glory and accolades to the Club and been remembered by the fans and officials alike. It is more or less an award bestowed upon the individual for his lifetime achievement. This year, it was Mr. Samar (Badru) Banerjee who was conferred this prestigious title.
The day is also celebrated as a get-together of the fans, supporters, officials, players â€“ past and present. The joy of meeting each other overcomes the boundaries of language, religion and political belief.
On stepping inside the Club Premises, one is welcomed by the soft tune of the shehnai and the sparkling Club Tent premises. The football ground is also dressed up with â€œgreen and maroonâ€ lights as is the big shamiana where the felicitation, musical program and the dinner are scheduled to take place.
The day started off early afternoon with junior teams from the Veterans' Club and McDowell Mohun Baganâ€™s own playing a friendly match that had all the drama, but ended goalless. Quite a few of these boys showed the potential to blossom into fine footballers in the days ahead.
Later, there was an exhibition match played between two sets of veteran players of the Club, Shibdas Bhaduri XI and Bijoydas Bhaduri XI (also a member of the immortal side and younger brother of Shibdas Bhaduri), which of course ended in favour of Bijoy Das Bhaduri XI winning 3-2. A lot of these veteran players still exhibited the magic in spells and reminded us all of the glory of Kolkata football of yesteryear. A total of 85 players were divided into two teams. They included Kannan, Naimuddin, Balai Dey, Shibaji Banerjee, Binay Panja, Jo Paul Ancheri, Pranab Ganguly, Abdul Khaleq, Achintya Belel, Sukhen Sengupta, Gouranga Banerjee, Sudip Chakraborty, Uttam Mukherjee, Hemanta Dora, Pradip Talukdar, Krishnagopal Chowdhury, Gunabir Singh, Amit Das, Saumitra Chakraborty and many others.
Thereafter, another football match between the Artistes XI and the Sports Journalists XI was played. The Artistes XI comprised of TV artistes from Kolkata. This match was keenly contested and also showed that these artistes of the small screen had associated themselves with this beautiful game of football in their school and college days as they did a lot of splendid running and passing. This match ended 1-1.
During play, the other legendary football stars trooped in - Sailen Manna, P. K. Banerjee, Chuni Goswami, Tarun Bose, Shibaji Banerjee, Biswajit Bhattacharya, Samar (Badru) Banerjee came along as did Utpal Ganguly, the IFA Secretary. Coach Karim Bencharifa was seen discussing with Shibaji Banerjee, P. K. Banerjee and Shyamal Banerjee.
The focus next moved towards the temporary dais constructed under the huge shamiana. Popular vocalists rendered songs - both Rabindra Sangeet and modern music. Two giant screens showed the history of the Club, the memorable goals scored and the visits and associations with Pele, Milla, Kahn and Maradona.
The trio of yesteryear, Sailen Manna, P. K. Banerjee & Chuni Goswami rose to hand over the Mohun Bagan Ratna to Samar (Badru) Banerjee with the Hon. General Secretary of the Club, Shri Anjan Mitra lending a hand. The crowd roared and applauded through the felicitation, as they did again, when the Club Officials introduced each of the players and the coaching staff of the current season to the fans and members.
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