Former club captain and coach Subrata Bhattacharya will be conferred with the prestigious Mohun Bagan Ratna award on the club day this year, the officials of the century-old club declared after a meeting at the club tent on Friday evening.
Bhattacharya, an Arjuna awardee who has won the highest number of major trophies in Indian club football, has been one of most controversial figures in the history of the club, someone whom supporters would swore at and swore by. After spending the first few years of his career at the low-profile clubs Bali Pratibha and BNR, Bablu – as he is popularly known in the circuit – donned the Green and Maroon jersey for 17 consecutive years tll hanging up his boots. A sturdy defender who also became a regular in the national team jersey, Bhattacharya divided opinions throughout his career, mostly due to his comments about opponents and football officials.
Mohun Bagan Ratna, the highest honour given by the club to its former players and officials, was started in 2001 and notable awardees include Sailen Manna, Talimeran Rao, P.K. Banerjee and Syed Nayeemuddin.
On the other hand, Indian striker Balwant Singh was named as the player of the season by the club. The former JCT striker was out of action for the first part of the season owing to an injury, but came back well to make 16 appearances in the I-League for the Mariners, scoring four goals.