Mohun Bagan legend Shibaji Banerjee passes away

Former Mohun Bagan goalkeeper Shibaji Banerjee, who was also a member of the club’s technical committee, died in Kolkata on Sunday after succumbing to a heart attack‎.

Banerjee played for Mohun Bagan for 11 years and has the distinction of not conceding against bitter rival East Bengal for four years, from 1977.   -  hindu archives

Former Mohun Bagan goalkeeper Shibaji Banerjee on Sunday passed away at his Kolkata residence after suffering a massive cardiac arrest. A green-and-maroon legend, Banerjee played for Bagan for 11 years and will always be known for stopping a free-kick taken by Pele during the 1977 exhibition match against New York Cosmos.

The lasting image from that game was a black and white picture of Banerjee diving to snatch the ball from Pele’s feet. Banerjee also had a brilliant game in an IFA Shield match against top Russian side Ararat. Legend has it that he was unbeatable on aerial balls that particular day as the game was locked at 2-2.

In fact, from 1977 to 1980, he never conceded a goal against arch-rival East Bengal. Banerjee was also a competent club-level cricketer, having scored a few runs at CAB first division league.

He was a senior officer in charge of recruitment at Port Trust. Post retirement, he served in various committees of Mohun Bagan club. The club’s flag will remain half mast as a mark of respect for the departed soul.

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