Mohun Bagan’s 1911 IFA shield win now on celluloid

June 27th, 2010 - 4:46 pm ICT by IANS  

By Pradipta Tapadar
Kolkata, June 27 (IANS) As soccer enthusiasts soak in the excitement of the World Cup in South Africa, film director Arun Roy is busy giving final touches to a movie that tells the story of city giant Mohun Bagan’s historic IFA Shield win over East Yorkshire 100 years ago.

The Bengali film, titled “Egaro” (The Eleven) showcases the Shibdas Bhaduri-led Mohun Bagan’s thrilling 2-1 win over the East Yorkshire regiment in the 1911 Shield final that had electrified the entire country then fighting for independence from British rule.

It was the first time an Indian club succeeded in lifting the IFA Shield by beating the British at their own game.

The film portrays the trials and tribulations of the side ahead of the match, climaxing in the victory of 11 barefoot footballers over the famed British army side against all odds and how football was used as a symbol of protest against the foreign masters.

“It has a great storyline. It depicts how Mohun Bagan footballers fought against the East Yorkshire regiment. During that time the referees were also not friendly. But rising against all odds, Mohun Bagan won the shield,” Roy told IANS.

Veteran Bengali film actor Soumitra Chatterjee’s grandson Ronodeep Bose will make his debut with this film. He plays the role of Abhilash Ghosh, who emerged the hero by scoring the winner two minutes from the final whistle. Bhaduri had earlier restored parity after the East Yorkshire regiment went ahead, courtesy a Jackson strike.

“It was an exciting experience to play the role of Abhilash Ghosh, who got Mohun Bagan the victory,” said a smiling Bose.

Foreign actors based in India and Kolkata have also acted in this movie.

“We decided to release the film July 29, as the day will mark the 100th year of Mohun Bagan’s victory over East Yorkshire,” said Anilabho Chattopadhayay, one of the producers.

The club celebrates July 29 every year as Mohun Bagan Day when its annual awards are given.

Mohun Bagan general secretary Anjan Mitra seemed excited.

“I have seen the shooting of the film. I will surely watch the movie,” Mitra told IANS.

Mohun Bagan supporters were jubilant.

“July 29 is the birthday of Indian football. I will watch the film and this will be my way of showing respect to those 11 bravehearts who fashioned the historic triumph,” said Dhruva Sarkar, a Mohun Bagan supporter.

(Pradipta Narayan Tapadar can be contacted at pradipta.t@ians.in)

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