1940s to 1960s
The above group photo features East Bengal team with IFA Shield after the Club’s maiden triumph in the Championship in the year 1943 ( Pagsley, Appa Rao & Paritosh Chakraborty features in the group )
The club's maiden League triumph was achieved in 1942. East Bengal Club came into limelight and ultimately got the first flavor of the Calcutta I.F.A. Shield by winning in the year 1943.
Records and new milestones became a regular ally of the club. In 1945 not only did the club achieve the Double, winning both Calcutta League and I.F.A. Shield but also recorded their highest margin of victory when they thrashed B.B.C.I. Railway 11-0 in a Rovers Cup tie. Pagsley the Club's Anglo Burmese Centre Forward scored eight goals in the same tie setting up a record for maximum number of goals scored by an individual player in a match. Club's Nayar's record of scoring 36 goals in the 1946 I.F.A. League is still unbroken.
Ever since East Bengal defeated the Chinese Olympic XI-2-0 (Scorer - Appa Rao and Saleh) in 1948 the club acquired a rich heritage of performing well against foreign club sides.
Thereafter club went on to win other trophies - Rover's Cup (1949), D.C.M. (1950), Durand Cup (1951).
The 1950 photograph was after East Bengal won the DCM Trophy, presented by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. With him in the photograph are his daughter Indira Gandhi and grandson Rajiv Gandhi !! Three Prime ministers of India !!! The photograph also features Mr. Dharma Vira, the then Executive head of the DCM group, who later served as Lt.Governor of Delhi and Governor of West Bengal.
The club's historic triumph of winning the I.F.A. Shield three years in a row (1949-51) as the first Indian team earned them the unique distinction of being adjudged the best soccer club by the English F.A. annual almanac of 1951-52.
IFA Shield prize distribution ceremony at the Raj Bhavan, only once in its history in 1951 when East Bengal won the IFA Shield three years on the trot. The photograph features the then West Bengal Governer Shri K. N. Katzu and the famous Pancha Pandavas of Indian football (Venkatesh, Ahmed Khan, Dhanraj, Appa Rao, Saleh) and also captain of East Bengal team Byomkesh Bose.
This honour paved the way for invitation being accorded to the club to tour Soviet Union and Romania as the first Indian football team. East Bengal Club is the only club in India who was invited by Romania Youth Festival Committee to participate in their football tournament at Bucharest in the year 1953. The club was recommended the best football club of India by the then President of India, Late Dr. Rajendra Prasad.
In 1951 the club performed well against the foreign sides as they defeated F.C. Gotheburg (Sweden) 1-0 (Scorer - Saleh) and in 1956 an IFA XI comprising of players mainly from the Club defeated Chinese Olympic XI 3-1 (Scorer - Moosa, Kittu & P.K.Banerjee).
Masood Fakri, who played for East Bengal Club in the years 1952-54 became the first Asian footballer to play professional football in England from 1955.
From the inception a number of officials have managed the club competently and amongst one of them Shri J.C. Guha (1948-69) made a significant contribution during this period in making the club a premier organization not only in India but also abroad. It was during his tenure that the club won a number of trophies and dished out outstanding soccer both at home and abroad. In 1951 the club also pioneered in raising funds for Prime Minister's Relief Fund by playing a number of exhibition ties.
The above photo features legendary footballers Ahmed Khan and Tulsidas Balaram.
The above photo features the then Indian President Dr S Radhakrishnan with East Bengal players Sushil Sinha & Prasanta Sinha.
Great Indian footballers like Ahmed Khan, Byomkesh Bose, Appa Rao, Saleh, P. Venkatesh, Dhanraj, Taj Mohammed, Sanat Sett, Prasanta Sinha, Tulsidas Balaram, Peter Thangaraj, Santo Mitra, Arun Ghosh, Md. Habib, Syed Nayeemuddin and many others who represented the country in Olympic and in other International Football Tournaments played for the club during this period.
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East Bengal finished in fourth position in I League
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