Ex-East Bengal captain Shanto Mitra passes away
Former Indian national team assistant coach and East Bengal captain Shanto Mitra died at a city hospital here on Sunday following prolonged illness, club sources said.
Mitra, 75, leaves behind his wife and a daughter. He was battling cancer and breathed his last at 7.20 am. A strong power of anticipation and receiving skills being his forte, Mitra defied his lean frame to acquire fame as a left-back in Indian club football in the 1960s and early 1970s. Mitra turned out for East Bengal from 1965 to 1973 and was the club captain when the red and gold brigade beat Iran's PAS Tehran club in the IFA Shield final in 1970.
Mitra belonged to the golden generation of East Bengal players whose exploits enabled the club win a record six back-to-back Calcutta Football League (CFL) titles from 1970 to 1975. Besides East Bengal, Mitra plied his trade for Wari FC and Bengal Nagpur Railway (BNR). Mitra was also part of the Indian squad once, for the 1968 Merdeka Cup. In 1969-70, Mitra captained the Bengal team that won the Santosh Trophy. After his retirement, Mitra was part of coaching squad for the Indian team when Yugoslav coach Ciric Milovan was in charge. Along with Karnataka's Amjad Khan, Mitra served as India's assistant coach during the 1984 Nehru Cup.