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Dhiren Dey: The great old tree of Kolkata Moidan

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Yesterday the 24th death anniversary of the greatest administrator in the history of Indian football, Dhiren Dey was held. He was the Assistant General Secretary of Mohunbagan from 1959 to 1977. Then he became the General Secretary of Mohunbagan and remained in the post up to 1990. In 1990 he became the president of Mohunbagan, the post which he held until his death in 1993.

Under the administration of Dhiren Dey, Mohunbagan enjoyed huge success and became the national club of India. Dhiren Dey was a Mohunbagani from earlier days of his life. He joined the Mohunbagan cricket team in 1942. In the late 1950s he entered the administration world of Mohunbagan. Dhiren Dey gave a glimpse of his fantastic administration capability when he organized the Platinum Jubilee of Mohunbagan in 1964. It is one of his greatest achievement as administrator of Mohunbagan. He bought the famous Hungarian club, Tatabania to play against Mohunbagan. Tatabanya team comprising of two Olympians Sepsi and Sarani played against Mohunbagan team led by Chuni Goswami. Mohunbagan lost the match by 3-0. Tatabanya also defeated another Kolkata giant Eastbengal by 4-1. Dhiren Dey also organized a historical cricket match in which legendary cricketers like Sir Garry Sobers, Caulin Couwdrey played against India led by Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi.

The greatest achievement of Dhiren Dey was the organization of Cosmos vs Mohunbagan match in which football king Pele played. In 1977 Cosmos were on a world tour. Dhiren Dey invited the Cosmos team to play a friendly against Mohunbagan. Cosmos team comprising of King Pele, Chinaglia and many other football stars played against Mohunbagan led by Subrata Bhattacharya. About 80thousand people crowded in the Eden Gardens stadium to witness the magic of King Pele. The match ended in a 2-2 draw. Late Shibaji Banerjee, the Mohunbagan goalie fought valiantly against the star-studded Cosmos team. Dhiren Dey was a symbol of dedication and discipline in Kolkata Moidan. He always believed that every player should have knowledge about football culture of other countries. He always wanted his players to learn about playing style of great players like Pele, Zico, Maradona etc and develop their own footballing skills by seeing them.

All these contributions of him have made Dhiren Dey a shining star in the galaxy of Kolkata football. As long as football is played in Kolkata name of Dhiren Dey will always remain an inspiration to every football administrators.