Remembering Mohun Bagan

Remembering Mohun Bagan – The Indian Football Club and The Immortal 11

When talking to football fans, there are different clubs that come to mind. Some of the popular names include Manchester United, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Barcelona, and many others. There are hardly any Asian or Indian football clubs that come to mind. Going back more than 100 years, the name of an Indian football clubMohun Bagan’, was etched in history. Mohun Bagan was the first Indian football club to win the IFA Shield by defeating the East Yorkshire Regiment during the British Raj in India.

Origin of Mohun Bagan

  • The history of Indian football and culture outdated some of the most popular countries and clubs in the world.

  • Football in India started way back in the 1850s, where Indians saw the British army men playing the game and spread awareness in different parts of India.

  • Mohun Bagan, the oldest football club in India and Asia was established on 15th August 1889 in Calcutta (now Kolkata).

  • The founder and first president of the club was Bhupendra Nath Bose.

  • Initially, Mohun Bagan started as "Mohun Bagan Sporting Club". Its name was later changed to "Mohun Bagan Athletic Club". 

  • Mohun Bagan was still in its budding stage as an Indian football club.

  • In 1893, Mohun Bagan played its first tournament, Coochbehar Cup.

The success of Mohun Bagan as an Indian football club

  • At the start, success eluded Mohun Bagan since they were unable to win any trophies.

  • Mohun Bagan ended their trophy drought in 1904, when they lifted the Coochbehar Cup, their first ever trophy.

  • Since 1904, there has been no looking back for Mohun Bagan.

  • In 1905, Mohun Bagan won the Coochbehar Cup again.

  • In 1906 and 1908, they won three trophies - Coochbehar Cup, Trades Cup, and Gladstone Cup.

  • In 1907, they won the Trades Cup.

  • They became the first Indian football club to register a hat trick of wins for the prestigious Trades Cup.

  • Due to the success achieved by Mohun Bagan, they were invited to play the IFA Shield.

  • However, the side struggled in the first two years against the British Regiment teams.

  • It was in 1911 that Mohun Bagan created history in the IFA Shield tournament.

The IFA Shield triumph of Mohun Bagan in 1911

  • Mohun Bagan, the Kolkata Club started its journey in the IFA Shield by defeating St. Xavier"s 3 – 0.

  • This was followed by wins against Rangers in the pre-quarter finals (2 - 1), and Rifle Brigade in the quarter-finals. (1 – 0)

  • The semi-finals against Middlesex was a close affair and initially ended in a 1-1 draw.

  • However, in the semi-final replay, Mohun Bagan managed to defeat Middlesex 3-0 to advance to the final.

  • Mohun Bagan was up against a highly trained and experienced East Yorkshire Regiment team.

  • On the grand final day (29th July, 1911), thousands of football fans turned up inside the stadium (maidan) to support Mohun Bagan.

  • Mohun Bagan were in their iconic green and maroon shirt, while the East Yorkshire team entered the ground with their Black and White jersey.

  • This match began as an anticlimax as Mohun Bagan conceded the lead to the regimental side in the first half.

  • It was not an easy task for Mohun Bagan as 10 team members out of 11 were playing bare footed.

  • The second half witnessed a dramatic turnaround as Mohun Bagan came back from behind in style.

  • Captain Shibdas Bhaduri equalized, while Abhilash Ghosh, the center forward of Mohun Bagan scored the winning goal against East Yorkshire to make the impossible possible, and turn the match in favor of Mohun Bagan.

  • The barefooted Indian football club "Mohun Bagan" fought fearlessly against the British regiment team to lift the IFA shield and establish a place in the history books.

  • The game was being played in 1911, a time when the Independence movement in India was gaining momentum.

  • The victory of Mohun Bagan invoked a sense of pride and nationalism in the hearts of Indians against the British Raj.

Mohun Bagan Day celebrated every year on 29th July

  • In respect of the historic triumph in 1911, 29th July is celebrated as "Mohun Bagan Day" by the Mohun Bagan Athletic Club.

  • On this day, the Green and Maroon Indian football club became the first ever to win a prestigious trophy, the IFA Shield, against a British side.

  • This day is celebrated in a grand fashion by the Mohun Bagan Club.

  • Cultural programmes, talk shows with former and current players are organized.  

  • Also, an annual awards night is held where the best performers from various sports are awarded.

The Immortal Playing XI of Mohun Bagan who featured in the IIFA shield

Coach: Sailen Basu

  • Shibdas Bhaduri (Captain and Left out)

  • Abhilash Ghosh (Center forward)

  • Bhuti Sukul (Right Back)

  • Sudhir Kumar Chatterjee (Left Back)

  • Hiralal Mukherjee (Goalkeeper)

  • Bijaydas Bhaduri (Left in)

  • Manhohan Mukherjee (Right half)

  • Rajendra Sengupta (Center half)

  • Jitindranath (Kanu) Roy (Right out)

  • Srishchandra (Habul) Sarkar (Right in)

  • Nilmadhab Bhattacharya (Left half)


Even today, Mohun Bagan is India"s most loved Indian football club. It still continues its journey towards excellence, and enjoys every victory as if it were the first one. Even today, the triumph of Mohun Bagan in 1911 can never be forgotten.