The City of Joy, Kolkata, was painted in a different colour on Sunday – the passionate celebration of football.
The occasion? One of the city’s most iconic football club, East Bengal, celebrated its 100th birthday. The club played host to the spectacle with over 60,000 fans in red and gold colours gathered to celebrate the club’s 100-year-old journey since its inception in 1920.
The extravaganza was justified since East Bengal is one of the select few clubs to cross 100 years, others being rivals Mohun Bagan and Mohammedan Sporting.
However, East Bengal is slated to officially commence it’s centenary celebrations on its foundation day – Thursday – with another scintillating ceremony at the Netaji Indoor Stadium.
1⃣0⃣0⃣th year of Red & Gold! ❤?
— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) August 1, 2019
The club will award Kapil Dev, the country’s first-ever cricket World Cup-winning captain, with its highest honour – the Bharat Gaurav. The connection between Dev and East Bengal dates over 27 years when player sported the club’s colours against Mohun Bagan in an exhibition match in 1992.
Bhaskar Ganguly and Manoranjan Bhattacharya will be honoured with the lifetime achievement awards. Special awards are also to be bestowed upon two other icons, Bhaichung Bhutia and P.K. Banerjee. While the former went on to become one of the best strikers for the club and the nation, the latter contributed to the club’s fame as a coach.
Apart from the above, the function will witness the felicitation ceremony of the family members of three founder-members: Sailesh Bose, Suresh Chowdhury, and Ramesh Chandra (Nasha) Sen. Furthermore, three former secretaries, Nripen Das, Jyotish Chandra Guha, and Dipak (Paltu) Das, will be honoured posthumously.
Our biggest supporter, cheerleader and a lifelong @eastbengalfc lover #JamunaMashi aka #LojensDidi at the #Centenary celebrations today at the club. This is emotion of ? years. #LoveEastBengal #IAmWithQuessEastBengalFC pic.twitter.com/WlrReEzVco
— EAST BENGAL the REAL POWER (@EBRPFC) August 1, 2019
“Let us hope that East Bengal wins the I-League this time make the centenary celebrations more memorable,” said Subhash Bhowmick, the coach who guided the club to clinch the ASEAN Club Championship in 2003.
“East Bengal has remained one of the biggest names in Indian football ever since its inception. And now that it is completing a century with the same intensity makes its achievement unique,” the club’s legendary forward Sukumar Samajpati said.
Chima Okorie was presented the centenary jersey on behalf of @eastbengalfc at #IFASHIELDUK on 28th July at #London
He is the chief guest at the East Bengal #Centenary Global Flag Hoisting ceremony at Tower Bridge London on Saturday the 3rd of August at 12 noon- do join us there! pic.twitter.com/fKCm0yhG99
— EAST BENGAL the REAL POWER (@EBRPFC) July 31, 2019
— Football Counter (@football_countr) August 1, 2019