KRISHANU DEY : THE UNTOLD STORY
The 1980's saw a spectacular rise in the eminent flavour of Indian football and one of the biggest architects behind the cause was my father. Since his demise, little has been done to appreciate the contributions of dad to the sport in the country. But the supporters have always made me feel that dad is still alive and will always be amidst their prayers. Thus on the unfortunate eve of Krishanu Dey's 9th death anniversary (20th March 2003), we are paying the homage to the "Dark Knight" of Indian football via his only son, Soham Dey - in an Interview with www.kolkatafootball.com on 2011.
As I was born in 1990, I failed to witness the artistry expressed by the language of my father's football style. The interesting part that frames a childhood is Stories. Stories are the few things that lies in the armoury of the parents. An individual is always associated with stories that help him or her to pass the lifetime reinventing those moments.
My life have also been a memoir of some stories heard from my father which still teaches me that age is no limit to chase dreams just the heart should be dedicated to the cause. The heart is a strong energizer in case of reinvogetaring passion time and time again. The following stories I am going to tell lies deep inside my heart that will never fade away. The stories strongly deal with reality without having any fictional elements lying inside it. The first story is about a person who believed in his dreams having a hunger to fulfil it by any means. The person I am talking about is my father Krishanu Dey and the following are some Untold Stories that I share with you all.
The wicket keeper turned goalkeeper
One of the most interesting story about my father lies in the fact that the person started playing cricket before realising the serious knack to be a footballer. My father started developing love for sports from a tender age but the financial stifle provided a major hindrance for the dream to be turned into a dose of reality.
But still dad used to go to the fields everyday to keep himself in the habit of playing some sports. As we all know India is a cricket crazy nation and all the Indians, maybe for one day also endorses themselves into playing the game. My dad also did so. He used to play cricket regularly and due to the agileness in his movement, the wicketkeeping position went under my dad's ownership.
Dad began to represent his native local club "Provat Sangha" in various shields and competitions. Incidentally one day, the goalkeeper of the club's football team failed to produce a fitness test. So it was time for my father to face the music as he was given the nod to enjoy the essence of the beautiful game for the first time. Believe it or not dad replied in a confident fashion keeping a clean sheet and this was the moment which introduced our very own "Indian Maradona" to the game of football.
The extraordinary comeback
The story I am about to write down is not for the faint hearted. And second of all it was not a story but true depictions which still gifts me immense encouragement in every aspect of my life. The year was 1988 and the scenario was the Kolkata derby between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan. And before the match could end, a rash challenge from former Mohun Bagan footballer Amit Bhadra received with some unfortunate consequence for dad as he tore a cartiledge.
With an imminent operation awaiting, dad saw his football career getting crushed before his own eyes. Post operation many critics considered the career of Krishanu Dey coming to a premature end. But being the man of an Iron mettle that my dad was , he took the criticism as inspiration to start his comeback trail.
Every morning my dad used to trod the sand of Shibpur under the able inspection of the footballing adroit Late Mr.Sudip Chatterjee. Apart from that the Kolkata Race Course became another backdrop of training regime for dad. Every night my dad would look at the stars and tell that he will be back to finish the chapter himself.
Eventually dad signed for East Bengal marking his successful comeback from the horrific injury. And once again started to exert his deft touches and dexterous footwork winning the hearts and praise of the Indian football fanatics for the second time.
The 85 story
The most exciting part of this story was a certain quote from my father - "I cried that day because I was left out." As the incident took place in the year 1985, I like to call it "The 85 Story". The year 1985 saw my father cross the forbidden lines as he signed for East Bengal Club from Mohun Bagan.
It was a match between East Bengal and Mohammedan at Yubhabharati Krirangan in IFA 1st Division League. Dad was warming up when the then coach of East Bengal Padmashree PK Banerjee announced the first team list which saw dad not being part of it. It hurt dad so bad that he stormed inside the dressing room crying only to return at the request of the senior players.
As East Bengal was trailing 0-1 with a goal of Cheema upto the end of first half, the coach finally gave the nod to dad as he came on as a substitute in 53 minutes of 2nd half. Then the scenario changed with 17 minutes left as Dad exibhited two classy bits of which Debashis Roy and Bikash Panji scored the goals and East Bengal coming out victorious in one of the topsy turvy matches of the season finally by 2-1. This moment not only paved the way for the commencement of Dad but was a start in the making of the legend. But my father always told me that the best Indian coach he played under was surely Padmashree PK Banerjee.
My father's finest
I once asked Dad that if you had the chance to shortlist the best playes you had played with then who will they be. As usual wasting no time he started to analyse after which the following team was created which included the best teammates my father enjoyed as a player.
Krishanu Dey Best XI :- Bhaskar Ganguly, Krishnendu Roy, Manoranjan Bhattacharjee, Tarun Dey, Alok Mukherjee, Bikash Panji, Late Sudip Chatterjee, Prasanta Mukherjee, Chima Okorie, Jamshid Nasiri and Babu Mani.
Then my dad analysed his best XI of the 1990's which was
Krishanu Dey Best XI of 1990's :- Atunu Bhattacharjee, Ilias Pasha, Manoranjan Bhattacharjee, Sami Omolo, Alok Mukherjee, Bikash Panji, Late Sudip Chatterjee, Tushar Rakshit, Chima Okorie, Bhaichung Bhutia and Maguiri.
The best International player witnessed by dad was Zinedine Zidane whom he saw live during the World Cup Finals of 1998.
Last but not the least to finish the article I still have one more story left.
A true ambassador of the game
Now this was not a story but a candid observation. While I was enchanted by the magic of Cricket, dad always reserved himself into the magic of the beautiful game. Even after retiring, dad continued his knack to play football matches taking part in invitational matches.
The humble wish to develop the grassroot saw Dad taking charge of the East Bengal Junior Side. Each and every morning dad would get up at 4 Am doing some bit of morning walk before heading straight to East Bengal ground. Whenever the Indian national football team took to the field, Dad would get all vocal near the television wishing them all the best.
Dad helped to set up various coaching camps around Kolkata taking part in the active process of his participation in creating the awareness for the game.
But to end the article I would like to type the lines that despite of being such a great footballer, Dad was the most modest personality ever witnessed by me. I salute you Dad - "Like player Like father."
SHORT PROFILE OF KRISHANU DEY
SHORT PROFILE OF KRISHANU DEY
Name : Krishanu Dey.
Nick Name : Rontu.
Born : 14 February 1962.
Birth Place : Naktala, South Kolkata.
Position : Striker.
Death : 20 March 2003.
School Football : Naktala High School, Kolkata.
First football Coach : Sadhan Ghosh at Prabhat Sangha, Naktala, Kolkata.
First Club : Mornning Star Club.
First Big Team in Kolkata Football : Police AC, Port Trust, Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, FCI.
1977 : Sub Junior for Bengal at Ernakulam.
1979-1980 : Joined Police Athletic Club of Kolkata League Team.
1980-1981 : Joined Port Trust
1982-1984 : Joined Kolkata Jiant 1st Div. Team Mohun Bagan A.C.
1985- 1991: Joined Kolkata Giant Club East Bengal.
1986:Hattrick in Mardeca Cup on 30th July 1986 against Thailand - India won 3-1. In the Tournament Indian team beat south Korea 4-3 where Krisanu scored two goals also.
1989:Captain of East Bengal.
1992: Return to Mohun Bagan A.C
1993-1995 : Again Joined Kolkata Giant Team East Bengal F.C.
1996-1999 : Played for his office team Food Corporation of India.
2000-2002 : Coach of East Bengal U -19 Team.
1990: Tripple Crown for East Bengal in 1990 - League, IFA Shield, Rovers Cup, Durand Cup under coach Naimuddin.
1986: He was the 6th Indian who scored Hattrick in International football. Puran Bahadur, Nevill Desuza, Ashok chatterjee, Marto Gracious, And shabbir Ali were the other five. I.M.Vijayan and Sunil chettri (2 times) later joined the team with 7th and 8th.