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Pradip Kumar Banerjee - Welcome to the Official website of PK Banerjee.

The Man

Pradip Kumar Banerjee or was born on 23rd June 1936 in Jalpaiguri, Bengal Presidency, British India. He is a former Indian footballer who won Gold for the country in Djakarta Asian Games in 1962 and captained Indian team at Rome Olympics 1960. His goal against European giant France in that Olympics from thirty yards range was part of folklore then. He went on to represent his country in three Asian Games and two Olympics. Recurring injuries forced him to drop out of the national team and subsequently to his retirement in 1967 from football.

He could never leave away from football for long and took a FIFA accredited coaching course in Japan and led Indian team to a bronze medal position in 1970 Bangkok Asian Games. Later he joined East Bengal Club to start a very successful club coaching career which spanned for next twenty-five years where he also coached their arch rival Mohan Bagan Club. He became the most successful coach in India winning innumerable trophies for his clubs and hearts of million football fans.

When the Arjuna Award was instituted in 1961, he was one of the first recipients of the award. In 1990, he was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri Award. He has been named Indian Footballer of the 20th century by FIFA. He has been awarded the FIFA Order of Merit, the highest honor awarded by FIFA, in 2004. He was awarded the player of the Millennium in 2005 by FIFA. He had also won the International Fair Play Award from the Olympic Committee, a feat that is yet to be repeated by any Indian footballer

A Legendis Born

Living as displaced person in Jamsedpur from jalpaiguri, it was a hard life of a footballer to grow up. But the legend didn’t stop. He practiced day by day for the love of his game. His talent was seen by his coach when he shot a number 5 size football over the goal post at the age of 7. This hard working athletic lad later represented Bihar in Santosh Trophy in 1951.

In 1954 he moved on to Kolkata and joined Aryan. After some years he moved on to represent Eastern Railway. He made his debut for the national team in the year 1955 Quadrangular tournament in Dhaka, East Pakistan (now capital of Bangladesh) at the age of 19.

There have always been immense challenges associated with the game. PK Banerjee have a good fortune even after so many years that he is associated with this majestic game that is treated as a religion in this part of the country and by the bangalis. “I am privileged that I can count my blessings.”

Autobiography

“The match continued in the pouring rain, and we were soon ahead and held onto our lead until the last minute when Mohan Bagan was awarded a penalty, and we all had our hearts in our mouth. If they drew this match, they would be a point ahead of us, and all they had to do was hold on, to win the league. Badru Banerjee went to take the shot and placed it calmly on his left side…..” Untold stories from 1958 when P.K.Banerjee won the Calcutta league single handedly.

The next few moments passed in a complete haze for me. Our defense held out in the end, capping off one of the most glorious day of Indian football history….P.K.Banerjee on winning his Gold with Indian National Team in Djakarta Asian Games 1962.

Pele pointed to me and said, ‘This man had prevented me from showing my skills to the audience of India,’ with a broad grin on his face…..P.K.Banerjee after preventing Football God, Pele to beat his Mohan Bagan team in 1977.

I later analyzed that all that my players had done that evening was effectively hold the ball for a few more seconds, thus disrupting the rhythm of Mohun Bagan. Hence, they had lost the speed required to attack and didn’t have a counter-answer to it……P.K.Banerjee after defeating Mohan Bagan in a high intensity derby in front of 1,31,000 spectators in 1997, Calcutta.

“Beyond 90 Minutes” is a candid heart wrenching autobiography of India’s gifted son P.K.Banerjee, written with Anirban Chatterjee, where he bares it all about his illustrious career as a footballer and then as a coach spanning over six decades. The reading is a delight for any students and followers of football where maestro’s uphill journey in life was told with all candidness and brutal clarity. It’s a engrossing story of a fairytale journey for a little boy from pre-independent India to be awarded the FIFA Order of Merit, the highest honor awarded by FIFA.