Which is the first indian professional football club, First indian professional football club name, First indian football club
The history of Indian football goes a long way back and is exquisitely detailed, as believe it or not, football was once the national sport of India. However, while football was then predominantly being played amongst the Indian army, there was a simultaneous spurt in the birth of Indian football clubs. India’s first football competition, the Durand Cup, which is also the world’s third oldest football competition, was first held in 1888. Speaking about which is the first Indian professional football club, the first Indian football club, and what’s the first football club name, these are all the topics that’ll be covered in this article.
Which is the first Indian professional football club?
When we speak about which is the first Indian professional football club, there are two answers that will be followed by the question. The first Indian football club which now stands dissolved, and the first Indian football club which is still functional, to this date.
Let us first talk about which is the first Indian professional football club, that has been dissolved and is not functional anymore. The first Indian professional football club name was Sarada FC, which was India’s oldest football club, founded in the 1800’s and was dissolved soon in some years. Other football clubs to have been formed in the same era and that are defunct now, are Sovabazar FC and Aryan club.
Another club, Calcutta Cricket and Football Club (CC&FC), was established as solely a cricket club in 1792, and was later merged with Calcutta Football Club. After the merger, CC&FC became the biggest rival of the oldest Indian football club, which is functional till date, i.e. Mohun Bagan.
When speaking about the club which is functional till date, Mohun Bagan can be said to be the first Indian football club which is still functional. So, the first Indian professional football club name is Mohun Bagan A.C., the name that the club was officially founded as, in 1889, by Bhupendra Nath Bose. Taking shape as the first Indian football club, which would go on to dominate the Indian football scene for years, Mohun Bagan had won it’s first major title in 1911 against East Yorkshire Regiment, which was the IFA Shield (Indian Football Association). Having won that title, Mohun Bagan became the first Indian professional football club to win the prestigious title, and was labelled the National Club of India.
In that IFA Shield win over East Yorkshire Regiment, most players of the Mohun Bagan FC had played barefoot, while the Englishmen were with proper footballing equipment. This win was considered a landmark victory in the Indian freedom struggle, and Indian football history.
Mohun Bagan, which is the first Indian professional football club, had played their first match in first division of Calcutta Football League, in 1915 against Calcutta Club, and had won their first-ever Calcutta Football League title in 1939. Mohun Bagan enjoyed incredible success from 1933 to 1939, winning 29 trophies during that phase. And being the first Indian football club to dominate the Indian scene so comprehensively, they beat East Bengal 12 times out of 23, including a walk-over win, drawing 10 matches and losing only 1. It was a golden period in the history of Mohun Bagan, which is the first Indian professional football club.
Mohun Bagan indeed go on to glorify the first Indian professional football club name, as they have won India’s top-flight football league 4 times, the National Football League 3 times, and have also clinched the I-League title once. Mohun Bagan, the first Indian football club, are the most successful when it comes to the Federation Cup, as they have won the championship a record 14 times.
The club glorifies the first Indian professional football club name when it comes to the fore how many trophies they have won. Their rich legacy is reflected by the number of time they have won; Durand Cup (16 times), IFA Shield (22 times), and the Calcutta Football League (29 times). They have won over 250 trophies, which is the highest number ever registered by any Indian football club.
Apart from Mohun Bagan FC, East Bengal FC are also one of the oldest Indian football club, which was founded in 1920 and still plays in the I-League, along with Mohun Bagan. The clashes between Mohun Bagan, the first Indian football club, and East Bengal FC, is called the Kolkata Derby, the first ever chapter of which was written on 8 August, 1921.