Former Bengal captain Santo Mitra passes away
Former East Bengal captain Santo Mitra passed away on Sunday morning (30/04/2017) after losing his prolonged battle with cancer. He was 75 and is survived by his wife and daughter.
He was battling throat cancer since 2009, the year he was crowned as Sheriff of Kolkata.
It was an usual busy Sunday morning but on 7:20 A.M. came the shocking news which left each and every football fan with teary eyes. Santo Mitra will always be remembered for his love and contribution towards East Bengal.
He started his career with first division side Wari AC. He joined BNR Recreation Club in 1964 and won the Rovers Cup with them in the same year. In 1965, East Bengal secured his services. The reputed left-back represented East Bengal from 1965-1972 and won many top tournaments for the Red and Golds.
He was made captain in 1970 when they went on to win the CFL, Durand Cup and IFA Shield. He led East Bengal to a famous victory over Iranian giants PAS Club in the 1970 IFA Shield final.
During his stint with East Bengal he won many trophies. The trophies that he won with East Bengal are listed below :-
- Calcutta Football League – ( 1966, 1970, 1971, 1972 )
- IFA Shield – ( 1965, 1966, 1970, 1972 )
- Durand Cup – ( 1967, 1970, 1972 )
- Rovers Cup – ( 1967, 1969, 1972-jointly )
- Bordoloi Trophy – ( 1968, 1972 )
- Sait Nagjee Trophy – ( 1968 )
- Chakola Gold Cup – ( 1968 )
He also represented Bengal in Santosh Trophy from 1965 to 1970. He was the captain in 1969 when Bengal won the trophy in Nogaon ( Assam ).
He was a member of the Indian team for 1968 Merdeka Cup but never got the opportunity to play for the country.
As a coach, he played an instrumental role during the 1984 Nehru Cup, when he was the assistant coach along with Amjad Khan under Yugoslavian Ciric Milovan. He also coached Bengal in the 1983 Santosh Trophy and the next year he was made India manager at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic qualifiers. Mitra was the football project director during the 2002 Asian Games.
Mitra was conferred with East Bengal’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. His tragic death surely marks the end of an era.