Published By: Rohit Chatterjee

Interesting Facts about the Kolkata Derby

Known as the “Boro Match”, the Kolkata derby played between East Bengal and ATK Mohun Bagan (formerly Mohun Bagan) is considered the fiercest derby in Asia

In Asia as well as in the world, the Kolkata derby is one of the fiercest derbies of all time. Played between ATK Mohun Bagan (formerly Mohun Bagan) and East Bengal, the derby is the pride of Bengal and Indian football. As a tribute to the ancient derby and for all the “Boro Match” fans, we have jotted down some facts about the Kolkata derby.

The ATK Mohun Bagan (formerly Mohun Bagan) fans represent the western part of Bengal whereas the East Bengal supporters represent the eastern part of Bengal (before partition). The majority of the East Bengal fans or their ancestors are originally from Bangladesh (earlier East Bengal before partition).

The ATK Mohun Bagan (formerly Mohun Bagan) fans or those Bengalis whose ancestors have always lived in the western part of Bengal are called Ghoti. On the other hand, the Bengali families hailing from the eastern part of Bengal (presently Bangladesh) are called Bangal. Therefore, the Kolkata derby represents the rivalry between Ghoti and Bangal.

The first-ever Kolkata derby was held on 8th August 1921 when the two teams met each other in a semi-final match of the Cooch Behar Cup. The first semi-final match ended in a draw. Therefore, the match was replayed two days later. ATK Mohun Bagan (formerly Mohun Bagan) won the first Kolkata derby with RobiGanguly, Paltu Dasgupta and A. Ghosh scoring one goal each.

The biggest victory margin in a Kolkata derby is held by East Bengal. In 1975, East Bengal defeated ATK Mohun Bagan (formerly Mohun Bagan) by five goals. The goals were scored by Shyam Thapa, Ranjit Mukherjee, Surajit Sengupta and Subhankar Sanyal.

The maximum number of goals in the derby is scored by the former Indian star player Bhaichung Bhutia. For East Bengal, he scored 13 goals whereas, for ATK Mohun Bagan (formerly Mohun Bagan), he registered six goals.

In the history of the derby, only four players have captained both sides. The players are Goutam Sarkar, Prasanta Banerjee, Dulal Biswas and Renedy Singh. Surprisingly, all the four players first captained East Bengal and later joined ATK Mohun Bagan (formerly Mohun Bagan).

In 1997, the semi-final match of the Federation Cup was played between the two teams. The Salt Lake Stadium welcomed 1,31,000 supporters in that match. East Bengal won the match with Bhaichung Bhutia’s hattrick. Last but not least, the fastest goal in the Kolkata derby was scored by an ATK Mohun Bagan (formerly Mohun Bagan) player. Md. Akbar scored a goal in 16 seconds against East Bengal in 1976’s CFL derby.