Centenary celebrations of Mohun Bagan’s historic IFA Shield win begin Thursday

July 28th, 2010 - 8:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, July 28 (IANS) The centenary celebrations of Mohun Bagan’s historic feat of becoming the first Indian team to win the IFA Shield in 1911 kicks off Thursday with the release of a first day cover by the postal department and conferring of the club’s highest honour “Mohun Bagan Ratna” posthumously to ten of the 11 players who participated in the Shield final.
Sibdas Bhaduri, skipper of the side that defeated British army side East Yorkshire Regiment 2-1 in the title clash July 29, 1911, has been given the honour earlier.

The victory had electrified the entire country then fighting to gain independence from colonial rule as it was the first time that an Indian club succeeded in lifting the coveted Shield by beating the British at their own game.

The 121-year old club celebrates the day every year as “Mohun Bagan Day” to commemorate the famous win.

The highlight of the programme at the club tent Thursday is the release of the special cover by West Bengal Governor M.K. Narayanan and the launch of a music album of the soon-to-be-released Bengali movie “Egaro” (The Eleven) that tells the fascinating story of the epic victory.

Families of the 10 footballers would then be handed the Mohun Bagan Ratna.

Besides, three exhibition games involving junior and former players, artists and the media would be played in the afternoon.

“We celebrate July 29 as Mohun Bagan Day every year. But of course this year is very special. Not only every Mohun Bagan supporter or soccer enthusiast, but all Indians should take pride in the achievement of Sibdas Bhaduri and the other footballers.

“It is a day of nostalgia, and thanksgiving for us. By handing over Mohun Bagan Ratna to the families of the footballers, none of whom is with us now, we are saluting these immortal heroes who won the Shield final against all odds,” Mitra told IANS.

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