The Green and Maroon brigade had a busy day on the 29th of July, celebrating both their historic 2-1 win over the East Yorkshire Regiment in 1911 and giving out their annual awardsAfter the felicitation of Ruud Gullit and other on the occasion of Mohun Bagan Day 2012 which you can read about in more detail here, it was the time for the club's annual awards ceremony.
The first award given was for the highest attendance for the youth program for the less privileged with the aim of youth inclusion and diversion called Kolkata Goalz. A collaborative effort between the British Council, Mohun Bagan and Kolkata Police, this program rewarded Dilshan Rahmani with the trophy that evening. The boy was all smiles as he waled up to receive the prize from Barreto.
This was followed by the felicitation of their official 'nursery' (youth) team. Then, as Mohun Bagan is an Athletic Club and not just a football club, there was a felicitation of their cricket team, which had brought in four out of seven local trophies.
Then, in an interesting reversal of roles, it was legendary footballer Chuni Goswami who presented local cricketing hero and IPL sensation Debabrata Das with the Dhiren Dey Memorial Award for Best Cricketer of the Year.
Continuing the theme of role reversal, it was the President of the Cricket Association of Bengal, Jagmohan Dalmia who announced the Karuna Shankar Bhattacharjee Award for Best Footballer of the Year, to a real gem in the Bagan ranks, Syed Rahim Nabi. The award was given to him by Gullit.
The Sailen Manna Memorial Award for Best Sportsperson of the Year 2011-12 was announced by club president Swapan Sadhan Bose and given to another cricketing hero, Laxmi Ratan Shukla who had been so successful at several levels in several formats of the game last year. This award too was presented by Gullit.
After this the sponsors were felicitated and then it was time for the Mohun Bagan Ratna award. It was given to an absolute legend for both the club and the country, Jarnail Singh Dhillon. A real embodiment of the principle of Total Football, the hard stopper of a centre-back was often found much further up the field and was more than often in the goals himself. 'Jaguar' Singh's peak was definitely being an integral part of the 1962 sian Games winning side, although there were many more trophies he won at club level.
The award was collected posthumously by his three daughters Kulwinder Kaur, Jaswinder Kaur and Narinder Kaur. When pressed to speak, Ms. Kaur had this to say, "To everyone at Mohun Bagan, I thank you for giving this award to our late father. Were were all very proud of him and he had achieved so much in Bengal. And thank you for today, you have helped him achieve his goal of being recognized as a good player."
She continued, "All of you at Mohun Bagan had given him that chance. I believe he is still alive in our hearts and will always be. Thank you once again."
That was the final presentation of the night and after this was the unveiling of Mohun Bagan's new jersey for the 2012-13 season designed by popular Bengali playback singer Babul Supriyo. The elegant new jersey was unveiled by Ruud Gullit and the designer himself and one was presented to Syed Rahim Nabi while the other was given to new signing Tolgay Ozbey.
This was followed by Babul Supriyo singing and dancing to his self-composed "Sabuj Maroon" (Green and Maroon). He made several members of the first team join in including Nabi and Tolgay among others while Gullit smilingly recorded it on his phone.
The evening was rounded off with some hits sung by another Mohun Bagan fan dressed appropriately in a green and maroon sari, playback singer Usha Uthup.