Former East Bengal legend Mohammad Habib was on Saturday received the “Bharat Gaurav” award for his contribution to East Bengal and Indian national team on the 96th foundation day of the club on August 1.
Habib came to play his trade in Bengal from Haydrabad, he was houshold name in Kolkata football for two dacades between 1960’s and 1980’s. He was invited to Kolkata by East Bengal on its 96th foundation day.
He was one of the complete football India had had. Football loving Bengali people used to call him affectionately ‘Bade Mian’ during his palying days. He was threat to rival defender as the striker’s stamina was unbeatble. He once hospitalised after a scoring a goal as defender opted to hurt me. But, the Hydrabadi did not leave the ground untill scoring the winning goal. His passion for the enormous as he appear in the practice next morning surprising everyone.
Chuni Goswami, who devotated his entire playing career for East Bengal’s arch-rival Mahun Bagan was also present at the Saturday’s foundation day ceremony.
“As a club Mahun Bagan may have more historic relevance, given their IFA Shield triumph in 1911, but in spite of being a true blue ‘Mahun Bagani’, I must say that East Bengal have emerged as football institution in the real sense of term,” Goswami stated.
“Mahun Bagan and East Bengal will remain eternal rivals. However, the two clubs flourished by complementing each other in Indian football,” he further said.
Former football star Chandan Banerjee was honoured with the Lifetime achievement award at low key function in Nazrul Mancha, Kolkata which witnessed a good turnout of members despite incelement weather.
Banerjee was a prolific player for the red and gold brigade in the 1960s and even captained the side in 1966.
The player of the year award went to defender Robert Lalthalmuana who had a few brilliant outings in the last I-league.
Former Bengal cricket captain Sambaran Banerjee received the Byomkesh Bose Memorial Award.
The team for the upcoming 2015-16 season was also introduced on the occasion. Inputs from IANS