India@75 Sports Legends: PK Banerjee - The man who began a revolution in Indian football
India has completed its 75 years of independence. As we look at some of India's top sportspersons, from football, we present PK Banerjee. Here's more on him.
It has been 75 years since India gained independence. As we celebrate the occasion, we do so by honouring some of India's top sportspersons. From football, we have PK Banerjee, who was one of the legendary strikers for Team India. Being a force at the club and international level, he has inspired a lot of today's youth Indian footballers.
Born in 1938, Banerjee began his career with Bihar in 1951 and played in the Santosh Trophy. Three years later, he moved to Kolkata and joined Aryan before playing for Eastern Railway. He scored approximately over 100 goals in around 250 club games. He also made his debut for India in 1955.
Banerjee represented India in three Asian Games (AG) while he helped the side win the gold during the 1962 Jakarta AG. He also helped the side reach the semis of the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, while four years later, he captained the side in the Rome Olympics. He also played for India thrice in the Merdeka Cup and won two silvers and a bronze.
Banerjee was known for his speed, agility, and decent accuracy when scoring goals. However, recurring injuries forced him to retire early in 1967, beginning his managerial career. Between 1972-76, he managed both East Bengal and Mohun Bagan, while he gained success with the latter, winning the IFA Shield, Rovers Cup and Durand Cup as a treble in 1976.
Banerjee also managed India in a couple of phases, winning the AG bronze in 1970. As a result of his success in the sport, he was recognised with various individual awards. Check out some of his recognitions below:
- Padma Shri - 1960
- Arjuna Award - 1961
- IFFHS Indian Footballer of 20th Century
- FIFA Order of Merit - 2004
- FAIR PLAY Award - Only Asian player to date
- Bharat Nirman Lifetime Achievement Award - 2011