A little known football player

Prompt  ….

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Yinglan. Thank you Yinglan.

The prompt reminds me of a group of boys playing barefoot-football in rural pastures while looking after their herds of cows/ buffaloes. Though, a game of cricket with a makeshift bat and wickets is a more common site nowadays.

One such boy was Gostha Paul, born on 20, August, 1896, at Bhojeshwar, a small village of Faridpur district (now in Bangladesh). Gostha got introduced to the game of football in the Kumartuli Park and and joined Mohun Bagan club after his family shifted to Calcutta.

He was instrumental in the victory of Mohun Bagan against the Yorkshire Regiment and the club became the first Indian club to lift the IFA-Shield in 1911. The Indians, who had never won against the British, suddenly realized they could defeat the English.

Gostha became a nationalist symbol on the football field because his powerful tackles against the British players destroyed the myth that Indians are physically weak.

IN_Gostha-Behari-Paul

In 1998 a postage stamp was released in the memory of this boy.

Words ~ 167

Thank you Priceless Joy

 

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