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Kapil Dev lauds East Bengal during centenary celebration

Kapil Dev and Sourav Ganguly were guests at the East Bengals centenary celebrations

Bengaluru, August 2: It was an auspicious day for one of the most iconic clubs in Indian football East Bengal Athletic Club as they completed a century of their existance. On 1st August in 1920, East Bengal Club was established at Kumartuli Park in North Kolkata.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurated the centenary year celebrations at a glittering function in Kolkata.

India's first-ever cricket World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev was joined by Sourav Ganguly, former Indian football skipper Bhaichung Bhutia and current Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri during the centenary celebrations of the Kolkata giants on Thursday (August 1).

The Red and Golds invited Kapil Dev on their 100th foundation day to confer him with the club's highest honour Bharat Gaurav award.

Speaking on East Bengal's centenary year, India's 1983 World Cup winning hero said, "I can understand upto one level that players are important but a hundred years for the fans is a huge moment. The media is also so much involved. It is a great occasion indeed."

The former Indian Cricket skipper revealed that he used to support the Brazil football team. He said, "Kolkata is known for football. Goa has also produced some very good footballers. I used to follow Brazil most of the time. I always follow the team and not individual players. We should always follow the team, that should give you more happiness."

East Bengal legend Bhaichung Bhutia said, "It is an iconic day for the club. Not many clubs around the world reach a hundred years. East Bengal has been one club that has produced cricket, football and hockey players.

"The club has survived a hundred years because of the fans. My message to fans is to keep supporting East Bengal."

Currently the skipper of Bengaluru FC Sunil Chhetri who also had a brief stint for the iconic club stated that it was an honour for him to be at this occasion alongside Bhutia and Kapil Dev.

Chhetri said, "They are the ones why we started playing sports. Honoured sitting with legends like Kapil (Dev) and Bhaichung (Bhutia)."

Former footballer Manaranjan Bhattacherjee and Bhaskar Ganguli were presented Life Time Achievement Awards and P. K. Banerjee was given best football coach of the Century award.

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Story first published: Friday, August 2, 2019, 12:30 [IST]
Other articles published on Aug 2, 2019
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