Subrata Bhattcharya to be conferred with Mohun Bagan Ratna, Balwant Singh named player of the year

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The former India international has been at the center of many controversies for the last three decades, but will now be honoured by the club.

Former club captain and coach Subrata Bhattacharya will be conferred with the prestigious Mohun Bagan Ratna award on the club day this year, the officials of the century-old club declared after a meeting at the club tent on Friday evening.

Bhattacharya, an Arjuna awardee who has won the highest number of major trophies in Indian club football, has been one of most controversial figures in the history of the club, someone whom supporters would swore at and swore by. After spending the first few years of his career at the low-profile clubs Bali Pratibha and BNR, Bablu - as he is popularly known in the circuit - donned the Green and Maroon jersey for 17 consecutive years tll hanging up his boots. A sturdy defender who also became a regular in the national team jersey, Bhattacharya divided opinions throughout his career, mostly due to his comments about opponents and football officials.

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His coaching career was no less colourful as the Shyamnagar born professional won two National Football Leagues (NFL) in three years for Bagan. In the last decade, he has coached almost all the major teams in Kolkata, including East Bengal, who had won the 2007 Federation Cup in Ludhiana under Subrata's tutelage.

Bhattacharya had waged war against the present management only a couple of years back, but was defeated in the elections. However, recently he has come in good terms with them, taking charge of Bhawanipore, a club also run by the Bose family that is part of the Bagan hierarchy.

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Mohun Bagan Ratna, the highest honour given by the club to its former players and officials, was started in 2001 and notable awardees include Sailen Manna, Talimeran Rao, P.K. Banerjee and Syed Nayeemuddin.

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On the other hand, Indian striker Balwant Singh was named as the player of the season by the club. The former JCT striker was out of action for the first part of the season owing to an injury, but came back well to make 16 appearances in the I-League for the Mariners, scoring four goals.

 

 

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