Career

P.K Banerjee started his coaching career in the Bata FC (1969-1971), and then he joined the East Bengal FC (1972-1975, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1988-1989). He served as the coach of the Eastern Railways for the Santosh Trophy in 1973, 1977, 1981 and in 1987. He also coached the Bengal FC for the same Trophy in 1988. He was the coach of the Mohun Bagan FC from 1976-1979, and then in 1984, 1990, and in 1994. Under his coaching, Mohun Bagan Athletic Club emerged victorious in the IFA shield, Rovers Cup and Durand Cup respectively, securing their first-ever triple-crown triumph in a single season. Under his guidance, East Bengal saw their golden period in Kolkata football as they won four of their six consecutive Calcutta Football League titles. He was also the coach of East Bengal when they famously trounced Mohun Bagan 5-0. In 1997, when Amal Dutta’s Mohun Bagan was flying high playing with a midfield diamond, it was PK’s East Bengal who brought them to their knees handing the Mariners a crushing 4-1 defeat at the Salt Lake Stadium. Later, from 1991 to 1997, he presided over the Tata Football Academy of Jamshedpur, as the Technical Director.

His football career started pretty early. He represented Bihar in the 1951 Santosh Trophy as the right winger, aged fifteen. His first club was Jamshedpur Sports Association, where he got enlisted in 1952. In 1954, he came to Calcutta and joined the Aryan in that year, after which he played for the Eastern Railway FC from 1955 to 1967. His participation got Bengal the championship of the Santosh Trophy in 1955. And, for the Eastern Railways FC, he participated in the winning team of 1961 (in Bombay), 1964 (in Guwahati), and of 1966 in Hyderabad in Santosh Trophy. Eastern Railways FC also became the Calcutta Champion in 1958. Mr Banerjee served as the national coach for the Indian football team, assuming his position with the qualifying matches of the Munich Olympic in 1972. As the national team coach, he masterminded India’s bronze medal win in 1970 Asian Games. He served as the national coach for the Indian national football team in the Asian Games of 1970, 1974, 1982 and 1986. He also coached the team for the Merdeka Cup in 1973, 1981, 1982 and in 1986. The team played under his coaching in the Nehru Cups of 1982 and 1986, and also in the Kings Cup of 1981. He retained the prestigious position until 1986. He pulled off a heist as Mohun Bagan coach when they famously held New York Cosmos 2-2 in an exhibition match starring the legendary Pele in 1977.

He served as the Technical Director for the SAFF Cup (Margao), where India won the gold medal, and the Olympic Qualifiers in 1999, and the tour of England in 2000. P.K. always maintained a very cordial relationship with his players, which often resulted in the win-at-all-costs attitude. It showed in his success story. The players were ready to die for him on the field. His legendary ‘vocal tonic’ has become part of Maidan folklore. Even players from other sports fraternities had been enthralled by PK’s incredible motivational speeches. P.K., a true public intellectual as he was, had always been vocal in favour of social causes. His football career started pretty early. He represented Bihar in the 1951 Santosh Trophy as the right winger, aged fifteen. His first club was Jamshedpur Sports Association, where he got enlisted in 1952. In 1954, he came to Calcutta and joined the Aryan in that year, after which he played for the Eastern Railway FC from 1955 to 1967. His participation got Bengal the championship of the Santosh Trophy in 1955. And, for the Eastern Railways FC, he participated in the winning team of 1961 (in Bombay), 1964 (in Guwahati), and of 1966 in Hyderabad in Santosh Trophy. Eastern Railways FC also became the Calcutta Champion in 1958.