East Bengal FC: A Glorious Centurion!
On 28 July 1920, Jorabagan was scheduled to play Mohun Bagan in the Cooch Behar Cup. Surprisingly, Jorabagan sent out their starting eleven with a notable exclusion of defender Sailesh Bose, who was dropped from the squad for undisclosed reasons. It was rumoured that Sailesh Bose, who hailed from the eastern region of Bengal, was dropped due to injustice and supremacy of the native Jorabagan club management.
Jorabagan club’s vice-president Mr. Suresh Chandra Chowdhury, who too hailed from the eastern region of Bengal pleaded for the inclusion on Sailesh Bose but his pleas went in vain. Raged with anger, Suresh Chandra Chowdhury resigned immediately along with Raja Manmatha Nath Chowdhury and players Sailesh Bose, Ramesh Chandra (Nosa) Sen and Aurobindo Ghosh, all of them hailing from the eastern region of Bengal.
On 1st August, they formed East Bengal Club, as a sports and cultural association at the home of Suresh Chandra Chowdhury in Jorabagan. The name of the club signified the origin of the people who formed the club and it was to be a club that represented the people who hailed from the eastern region of Bengal.
Just a week after formation, the club took part in the Hercules Cup, a 6-a-side tournament as their maiden appearance. On 11 August 1920, the East Bengal club played it’s first match against Metropolitan College and won 4-0 and then went on to win the tournament. The following year the club got affiliated to the Indian Football Association and made their debut in the Calcutta Football League 2nd Division and thus began their illustrious journey.
1 August 2020: East Bengal Football Club completes a glorious 100 years today. A day of pride and honour for the millions of Red and Gold faithfuls from all around the world, who have kept the flame of the burning torch alive for all these years.
We will capture the most illustrious moments from these 100 years of the club’s history on this special occasion.
Glorious 100 Years
1920 – East Bengal club is established with Sarada Ranjan Roy as its first President and Suresh Chandra Chowdhury and Tarit Bhusan Roy as joint secretaries.
1921 – Wins it’s first trophy (11 a side) Khagendra Shield defeating Mohun Bagan 2-1. Also, makes it’s debut in the Calcutta Football League 2nd Div.
1924 – Joint winners of Calcutta Football League 2nd Div with Cameroons B, amassing 37 points from 24 matches.
1925 – Makes debut in Calcutta Football League 1st Div, Mona Dutta scores the first goal in the top division. Also, defeats Mohun Bagan in the maiden League encounter by 1-0, Nepal Chakraborty scoring the only goal.
1926 – Makes debut in Durand Cup, defeats Army Headquarters 2-0 in the first match.
1927 – Jatin Sarkar scores the first hat-trick for the club in a 3-2 win against Rangers in the CFL.
1928 – Club gets relegated to second division.
1931 – Wins the 2nd Division again and returns to the first division and has been there ever since.
1936 – Defeats Mohun Bagan 4-0 in the CFL, the biggest margin of victory in the tournament’s history (repeated in 2015). Laxminarayan, K Prasad, Murgesh and Majid are the scorers.
1942 – After 5 unsuccessful attempts (runner’s up in 1932, 33, 35, 37 and 41), East Bengal wins their maiden Calcutta Football League top division title. Captain Somana became top scorer with 26 goals.
1943 – First IFA Shield title defeating Police AC 3-0 under leadership of Rakhal Majumder. Somana top scorer with 11 goals in the tournament.
1944 – Wins 1-0 in the first meeting with Mohun Bagan in the IFA Shield. V Rao scored the winning goal.
1945 – Wins the CFL-IFA Shield double for the first time with Paritosh Chakraborty as the captain. Burmese player Fred Pugsley top scorer with 21 goals. Defeats BCLI Railways 11-0 in Rovers Cup (biggest victory till date).
1946 – Back to back league titles with Swami Nayar scoring 36 goals, still a record for the most goals scored in a single edition of CFL.
1949 – Wins the treble of CFL, IFA Shield and Rovers Cup. Defeats Calcutta Garrison 10-0, their biggest margin of victory till date in CFL.
1950 – Rise of the Pancha Pandavas… won the DCM Trophy for the first time along with CFL and IFA Shield.
1951 – Lifts the IFA Shield for the third consecutive time and also wins their maiden Durand Cup defeating Rajasthan Armed Constabulary 2-1.
1952 – Wins the CFL and DCM Trophy and also lifts the Durand Cup for the second straight time defeating Hyderabad Police 1-0.
1953 – Becomes the first Indian team to tour Europe. Placed fourth in the World Youth Festival in Romania and then toured USSR for friendlies. End of Pancha Pandavas era.
1956 – Wins the Durand Cup for the third time.
1957 – Wins the Beighton Cup hockey for the first time.
1960 – Wins the Bengal Hockey Association League for the first time.
1961 – Wins the Calcutta Football League after a span of 9 years under the captaincy of Tulsidas Balaram, who became the top scorer with 23 goals.
1963 – Sri Lankan Selim Noor scores in his debut for East Bengal in the CFL return leg Derby as East Bengal won 2-0.
1966 – Wins the CFL-IFA Shield double for the fifth time.
1967 – Wins the first ever Kolkata derby played at the Eden Gardens by 2-1 in the CFL. Prasanta Sinha and Ashim Moulik scored for East Bengal.
1968 – Wins Sait Nagjee Football Tournament and Bordoloi Trophy, both for the first time.
1970 – Defeats PAS Tehran of Iran 1-0 to lift the IFA Shield. Parimal Dey scored the winner in the dying minutes.
1972 – Becomes the first team in Indian football history to win the Triple Crown – IFA Shield, Durand Cup and Rovers Cup (joint). The club also won the CFL without conceding a single goal and lifted the Bordoloi Trophy to win 5 trophies in the season under the captaincy of Sudhir Karmakar with P. K. Bannerjee as the coach.
1973 – Wins 5 trophies once again for the season including wins against Pyongyang City to lift the IFA Shield and Dok Ro Gang to lift the DCM Trophy. The club also won the CFL, Rovers and Bordoloi Trophy.
1975 – Lifts the CFL for the record sixth consecutive time winning every game. Defeats arch-rival Mohun Bagan in a record 5-0 margin that stands till date. Surajit Sengupta, Shyam Thapa (2), Ranjit Mukherjee and Subhankar Sanyal scored for the Red and Gold brigade.
1976 – Wins the IFA Shield for the fifth consecutive time.
1977 – Wins all the matches on the way to lift the CFL for the second time.
1978 – Wins the Federation Cup for the first time as joint winners with Mohun Bagan in it’s inaugural appearance.
1980 – Majid Bishkar and Jamshed Nassiri joins East Bengal. Wins the Federation Cup jointly once again with Mohun Bagan and Rover Cup jointly with Mohammedan Sporting.
1984 – Wins the first ever Derby at Salt Lake stadium by 1-0. Kartik Sett scored the only goal.
1985 – Wins the Federation Cup individually for the first time defeating Mohun Bagan 1-0 in the final. Wins the Coca-Cola Cup for the South-Asia regional Championship scoring 20 goals and conceding 0 in the tournament and hence qualified for the Asian Club Championship main round in Jeddah.
1990 – Under the coaching of Syed Nayeemuddin lifts the Triple Crown for the second time.
1991 – Wins the CFL without conceding a single goal for the second time in history and also lifts the Durand Cup for the third consecutive time.
1993 – Wins second international trophy outside Indian soil by lifting the Wai Wai Cup in Nepal. Also a memorable 6-2 victory of Al-Zawra of Iraq in Asian Cup Winners Cup.
1995 – Wins a quadruple with CFL, IFA Shield, Durand Cup and All India Airlines Gold Cup.
1997 – Bhaichung Bhutia scores the first hat-trick (in a major tournament) in the Kolkata Derby as they defeat Mohun Bagan 4-1 in the Federation Cup semi-final in front of record 1.31 lakh crowd at the Salt Lake stadium.
2000/01 – Lifts it’s maiden National Football League title under the coaching of Monaranjan Bhattacharya.
2002/03 – Wins their second National Football League title and a total of five trophies (NFL, CFL, Durand Cup, IFA Shield and Independence Day Cup) in the season under the coaching of Subhash Bhowmick.
2003 – Lifts their third trophy on foreign soil by defeating AFC Champions League finalists BEC Tero Sasana 3-1 in the ASEAN Club Championship in Jakarta.
2003/04 – Lifts their third and the first team to win back to back National Football League title. Cristiano Junior scores 15 goals in 18 matches to become the top scorer.
2004 – Lifts the Durand Cup for the record fifteenth time (joint) and also lifted the fourth trophy on international soil by defeating Hannam University of South Korea in penalty shootout to win the San Miguel Cup in Nepal.
2007 – Lifts the Federation Cup after 11 years in Ludhiana under the coaching of Subrata Bhattacharya
2009 – Lifts the Federation Cup at Guwahati defeating Shillong Lajong in the final and maintaining a record of not conceding a single goal in the tournament, not even in the penalty shootout.
2010 – Lifts the Federation Cup once again for the seventh time at Cuttack, defeating Mohun Bagan 1-0 in the final. Vashum scored the winner. Also wins the CFL after three years.
2012 – Lifts their eighth Federation Cup title at Siliguri defeating Dempo SC 3-2 in the final. Arnab Mondal, Chidi Edeh and Manandeep scored for the Red and Gold brigade. Also wins their 28th IFA Shield trophy.
2013 – Reaches the Semi-final of the AFC Cup, keeping an undefeated record until the defeat against eventual Champions Kuwait SC.
2015 – Defeats arch-rival Mohun Bagan 4-0 in the Calcutta Football League derby to equal the highest margin of victory in the tournament set back in 1936. Do Dong-Hyun scored two free-kick goals while Md. Rafique and Rahul Bheke scored the other two.
2016 – Wins the Calcutta League for the record 7th consecutive time, winning all the matches (only third time after 1975 and 1977).
2017 – Wins the Calcutta Football League once again to make a record of winning it 8 consecutive times, bettering their own record of winning 6 times back from 1970 to 1975.
2020 – Club completes 100 years!
The East Bengal FC has reached the exclusive club of centurions with all it’s glorious history, heritage and legacy, being one of the greatest sporting institutions of the country. The glorious past shall only help to propel the club into the future where Indian Football stands at a crossroad with modernism and professionalism the necessity of the hour.