For Bhaduri Brothers, football was their flight to freedom, says 1911 Mohun Bagan captain’s kin

Gouri Bhaduri said that getting the first ticket of the FIFA U-17 world Cup - India's first FIFA event - was a huge honour for her.

Written by Rahul Sadhu | Updated: May 17, 2017 11:45 pm
Shibdas Bhaduri was the captain of the Mohun Bagan side which defeated the All-British East Yorkshire Regiment in 1911. (Source: Mohun Bagan)

When late Shibdas Bhaduri, captain of the Mohun Bagan side in 1911, led his team to an IFA Shield victory over the All-British East Yorkshire Regiment, it went on to become more than just ‘the greatest day in the history of Indian football’.

“The victory awakened a freedom struggle that had seemingly lost its momentum a little bit and provided the much-needed inspiration to the youth of a colonised nation,” recalled Gouri Bhaduri, the grand daughter-in-law of Shibdas Bhaduri.

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Gouri Bhaduri was present in New Delhi as former Barcelona star Carles Puyol, on Monday, presented the first ticket of the upcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup to her.

Speaking to the IndianExpress.com, an emotional, Gouri Bhaduri said, “I am fortunate to get married in this family (Bhaduri’s), which has such a great heritage. The honour we are receiving today is due to Shibdas Bhaduri. FIFA’s recognition of the triumph and getting the first ticket of the U-17 World Cup is a huge honour,” she added.

Recalling the role of her ancestor, Gouri Bhaduri spoke about Shibdas and how he galvanised a team of relatively unknowns into champions. Shibdas – popularly known as ‘pichol babu’ or ‘Mr. Slippery’ due to his dribbling skills was ably supported by his elder brother Bijoydas. What is more interesting is that when the two siblings played together, more often than not, they left the opponents confused due to their similar looks. Teaming up with 9 other men they formed the famed – Immortal XI.

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“They never played for money, they had devoted their lives to the cause. They nurtured the possibility of achieving freedom of their motherland through this game. Football was a way of life for them, it was also their flight to freedom.”

The most incredible fact of the game was that all the players of Mohun Bagan were barefooted. And those outstanding 11 players of the final match were – Hiralal Mukherjee(Goal) , Bhuti Sukul(Back), Sudhir Chatterjee(Back), Monmohun Mukherjee(Back), Rajen Sengupta(Back), Nil Madhav Bhattacharya (Half back), Kanu Roy (Forward), Habul Sarkar(Forward), Abhilash Ghosh (Forward), Bijoydas Bhaduri(Forward)

Meanwhile, the tickets for the U-17 World Cup will be available to the general public from May 16. The time when then tickets go live is 7:11 PM or 1911 hours. The time has been set in honour of Mohun Bagan’s triumph over British team East Yorkshire Regiment in the year 1911.

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