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Bhutia hopes for ‘high 5’ from East Bengal

Bhaichung Bhutia wants to play in EB colours for at least five minutes this season and finally retire from club football

By A Staff Reporter in Calcutta
  • Published 18.07.19, 3:05 AM
  • Updated 18.07.19, 3:05 AM
  • a min read
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Bhaichung has already retired from international football a few years ago B. Halder

Bhaichung Bhutia has a wish. He wants to play in East Bengal colours for at least five minutes this season and finally retire from club football.

The former India football captain’s desire came to light during a media conference on Wednesday to announce East Bengal club’s centenary celebrations. Bhaichung has already retired from international football a few years ago.

According to a senior East Bengal official, coach Alejandro Menendez Garcia will take a final call on when to try out Bhaichung. His chance might come in the Durand Cup or during the Calcutta Football League.

The club released a logo (1920-2020) to mark its centenary celebrations. A torch rally will be held on July 28 from Kumartuli Park to the club premises. The East Bengal flag will be hoisted at noon on August 1 on the club premises and in 200 other countries.

The centenary Foundation Day celebrations will be held at the Netaji Indoor Stadium on the same day. India’s first World Cup-winning cricket captain Kapil Dev will be given the Bharat Gourav award. Another former captain Sourav Ganguly will also be felicitated on the occasion.

Kapil had signed for East Bengal in 1992 and played for 27 minutes as a substitute striker in an exhibition match versus Mohun Bagan.

There will also be a blood donation camp on August 13 to mark the occasion.

Coming back to Bhaichung, he also remembered his long association with the club.

“I will always remain indebted to East Bengal. I was only 15 years old when Surajit Sengupta and Bhaskar Ganguly noticed me at a SBI sub-junior camp in Sikkim and decided to bring me here… Life changed for me,” recalled Bhaichung.

“I felt somewhat sad to leave my parents back in Sikkim and travel to Calcutta for football. Hardly did I realise then that I would be part of a bigger family… I never felt homesick during my football days in the city.

“The comfort and guidance that I received here from the senior players made my life much easier.”