Former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly has said that as a boy, sport was all about football for him. Ganguly grew up in Kolkata, which is known to be the hub of Indian football. The passion for football among Bengalis is immense and Ganguly is no exception.
He said, “My first memories of football were my first memories of a sport. Because I never played cricket when I was young, I used to kick the football. Studying in St Xaviers, after 3 pm it was football for me and I didn’t know what a cricket bat was although my brother used to play cricket. And I went on to play football till I was in class 9 and I was pretty good at it. I would actually go and watch Mohun Bagan and East Bengal play. My father was a life member of the Mohun Bagan club and I still remember that Green and Maroon card, those wooden ramparts and (the times) when I would finish school at 3 and get on to the bus and get down in front of the Eden Gardens or the Mohun Bagan ground to watch a football game from 4 o’clock.”
He added, “The legends of yesteryear, Prasun Banerjee, Prashanta Banerjee, Bidesh Bose, Manoranjan Bhattacharya, Subrata Bhattacharya and I can name each and every one of them. I have watched them very very closely. So, you could see that as a young boy, it was all about watching football and going to Mohun Bagan and Eden Gardens.”
He is also the co-owner of Indian Super League’s (ISL) Kolkata franchise.