East Bengal Foundation Day: Celebrating 93 years of consistent achievement

Now that their 93rd Foundation Day is done with, the red and gold brigade are inching closer to that grand century...
Despite being such huge rivals, East Bengal Football Club has Mohun Bagan Athletic Club as an intrinsic part of their history. When Mohun Bagan vice-president Suresh Chandra Chaudhuri broke away from his old club over a disagreement to form a new one, he little realized what impact he'd have on Indian football history.

Founded along with Raja Manmatha Nath Chaudhuri, Bose, Ramesh Chandra Sen and Aurobinda Ghosh, they named themselves East Bengal F.C. after the land of their origin.

The first of August, 2012 marked the 93rd occasion of the club's formation. Since the first of August, 1920 the red and yellow brigade have indeed come a long way. One of the most revered names in Indian football today and one of the most recognized Indian clubs in the world, the club had plenty to celebrate in terms of reaching out as well as their consistent success.


The celebrations were inaugurated in the morning by club and national legend the 'snake charmer' Ahmed Khan who hoisted the club flag in the presence of another club legend Ilyas Pasha and the current captain Sanju Pradhan. Mr. Khan went on to light the ceremonial lamp, following which their proverbial 'birthday cake' was cut by the same trio.

In the evening, the lighting of the lamp was done with the governor, M.K. Narayanan, state ministers Partha Chatterjee, Madan Mitra and Bratya Basu and the mayor, Sovan Chatterjee all attending. Novelist Buddhadev Guha was the chief guest for the evening.


Ahmed Khan, the revered forward in East Bengal's 'Panchapandav' (Five Pandavas) forward line and who also represented India in two Olympics, was honoured by the Governor with Bharat Gaurav Award. An emotional Khan revealed, "The Bharat Gaurav which East Bengal has awarded me has well and truly made up for my disappointment and missing out on the Arjuna (Award) and the Padma Shree."

Two other legends, Prasanta Sinha and Santo Mitra (collected on his behalf by captain Sanju Pradhan as he wasn't around) were given the Lifetime Achievement Award. The other hero of the yesteryears present, Ilyas Pasha, was presented with a cheque of Rs. 5 lakhs.

The club also honoured foremer referees Sumanta Ghosh and Sagar Sen and sports journalists Shibaji Dasgupta and Rupak Saha.


To go to more modern times, Penn Orji, instrumental in last season's second placed finish in the I-League was given the club's Golden Boot for 2011-12.

The evening was rounded off with songs form Bengali artists Indrani Sen and Saikat Mitra.

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