SC East Bengal Grieves Surajit Sengupta

Updated: Feb 21

Kolkata, February 17: A pall of gloom enveloped the SC East Bengal camp on Thursday afternoon, when news of the passing of wide midfielder Surajit Sengupta reached us. Sengupta, 71, breathed his last at a city hospital following his prolonged battle with COVID-19.

Sengupta represented India in the Asian Games in 1974 and 1978, the Merdeka Cup in 1974, the President’s Cup in Seoul in 1977, and in International Friendlies against the UAE and Bahrain (1979).

He was part of the golden era of East Bengal, when they won six consecutive Calcutta Football League titles (1970-1976), the IFA Shield six times, and the Durand Cup thrice.

"It is a sad day for the East Bengal family. He was an amazing player. I have learnt that he was a very good person and a very good footballer. He was one of our captains and it's a very sad day for us," said head coach Mario Rivera as the club observed a minute's silence before training to pay tribute to the legend.

"Sura da was ill for some time. I was in touch with him, I used to take his updates regularly. I have lost a family member. I knew him since 1979; he was my friend, philosopher and guide. He was like my elder brother," said assistant coach Mridul Banerjee, struggling to hold back tears.

Sengupta captained East Bengal in 1978, netting a total of 92 goals, and helped them win the Calcutta League in 1974, 1975, and 1977; the DCM Trophy in 1974; the IFA shield in 1974, 1975, and 1976 (joint-winners); the Darjeeling Gold Cup in 1976 (joint winners); the Federation Cup in 1978 (joint-winners); the Rovers Cup in 1975; and the Durand Cup and the Bordoloi Trophy in 1978. He was conferred with the East Bengal Club Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018.

Born on August 30, 1951, Sengupta started his football career at Kidderpore Club and went on to represent the Big Three clubs of the Maidan. He turned out for Mohun Bagan for two seasons from 1972 and in 1974. He also featured for Mohammedan Sporting in 1980 and later returned to Mohun Bagan in the twilight of his career.

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