Mohun Bagan is an Indian I-League football club based in Kolkata. It has been dubbed as the National Club ofIndia and has the distinction of being one of the oldest football clubs in Asia, having been established in 1889. The football team has been successful since its establishment and has maintained its status as one of India’s most successful clubs, having won multiple trophies of national significance such as the Federation Cup, Rovers Cup, Durand Cup, IFA Shield, National Football League and the Calcutta Football League. Mohun Bagan was the first Indian team to defeat a European team, when they defeated the East Yorkshire Regiment, 2-1 to lift the 1911 IFA Shield.
Mohun Bagan has a long-standing rivalry with neighbours East Bengal, with whom it contests the Kolkata derby. Currently the club is trophy-less for last five years.
During the late 1800s the Indian independence movement was well into its beginning and the widespread rebellion of the Indian nationalists fired the imagination of all the Indians in the country and to help the movement, Bhupendranath Basu, with the help of the Mitra Family, and the Sen Family founded Mohun Bagan under the name Mohun Bagan Sporting Club on 15 August 1889. The club his said to have played their first ever game at the Mohun Bagan Villa against Eden Hindu hostel. Right before the one year anniversary of the club professor F.J. Rhow asked whether the club had organized any rifle shooting or angling or other related activities and when the answer to that question was no it was suggested that the club be renamed from Sporting to Athletic. The officials agreed and the club was officially renamed as Mohun Bagan Athletic Club. Then in 1891 the club relocated grounds to Shyampukur and then again they relocated, this time to Shyam Square. Mohun Bagan played in their first ever tournament in their history in 1893 when they played in the Coochbehar Cup.
Later, Mohun Bagan participated in various tournaments like Coochbehar Cup and the Trades Cup but were unsuccessful. After the Calcutta Corporation opened the public square known as Shyam Square, the club was alloted space there along with Aryans and Baghbazar Club. Thus Shyam Square became the third ground for Mohun Bagan (1895–1900).
Mohun Bagan won its first trophy in 1904 when they won Coochbehar Cup and then the club won it again in 1905. In the same year Mohun Bagan reached the final of Gladstone Cup which was held in Chinsurah in which they defeated the reigning IFA Shield winners Dalhousie 6-1. In 1906, Mohun Bagan registered more success when the club grabbed the Trades Cup, Gladstone Cup and Coochbehar Cup all in the same year. Then in 1907 Mohun Bagan again won Trades Cup and then they completed the triple by winning it again in 1908.
Mohun Bagan then created history by becoming the first Indian club to win the IFA Shield when they won it in 1911 against East Yorkshire Regiment by defeating them 2–1 despite the Mohun Bagan players playing in barefoot while East Yorkshire Regiment played with proper footballing equipment.
Mohun Bagan played their first match in first division of Calcutta Football League on May 15, 1915 against Calcutta Club. Back then the Calcutta Football League was the number one football league in India. In 1937 Mohun Bagan played its first international match in against Englishton Corinthians of England. In 1939 Mohun Bagan became the first ever Indian Calcutta Football League champion after a long awaiting 25 years.
In 1943 Mohun Bagan again created history in Indian football by being the first team to implement an Insurance Scheme for the medical aid of the injured players. Within one year a medical Board was also formed with some doctors. This year Mohun Bagan won the Calcutta Football League for the second time, gaining 39 points in 24 matches. The club also grabbed the Trades Cup this year. The next year Mohun Bagan won the league again. In 1947 Mohun Bagan again won the IFA Shield. Through that victory Mohun Bagan is the first Indian club to win IFA Shield after independence. The club also won the Calcutta Football League again by defeating arch rival East Bengal. Then in 1952 Mohun Bagan won the IFA Shield yet again. In 1954 the club grabbed the double crown of Calcutta for the first time after winning the IFA Shield and First Division Calcutta Football League and thus also becoming the first club ever to do this. They would also go on to do this again in 1960. In 1977 the club created the history by being the first ever Indian football club to do the triple crown (IFA Shield, Durand Cup, and Rovers Cup) in the same year.
In 1977 Mohun Bagan played a friendly match against the famous North American Soccer League club New York Cosmos which featured Pelé. The match, which took place at Eden Gardens, had a match attendance of 80,000. The match ended 2-2 and a lot of the Bagan players got a lot of praise by the star packed Cosmos.
Mohun Bagan then made it to the final of the first ever Federation Cup in 1977 only to lose out to Indian Telephone Industries 1–0. Mohun Bagan then made the final of the tournament again in 1978 only to share the trophy with their rivals East Bengal. In 1980 Mohun Bagan once again made it to the final of the Federation Cup against East Bengal and again ended up sharing the cup after ending the game 1–1. However, the next year in 1981 Mohun Bagan finally won their first Federation Cup after beating Mohammedan 2–0. Mohun Bagan then won the tournament again a year later after defeating Mafatlal Hills 1–0. Mohun Bagan than continued their run in the Federation Cup after winning two consecutive Federation Cups in 1986 and 1987 after defeating rivals East Bengal 1–0 and then Salgaocar in 1987. Mohun Bagan then went on to win three consecutive Federation Cups from 1992 to 1994 after they defeated East Bengal, Mahindra & Mahindra, and Salgaocar 2–0, 1–0, and 3–0 on penalties respectively.
In 1998 Mohun Bagan won the triple by winning the IFA Shield, Federation Cup and the National Football Leaguefor the first time. In 2007 Mohun Bagan won the Indian Super Cup by defeating Dempo S.C. by a score of 4-0. Then one year later in 2008 Mohun Bagan players got the opportunity to play against German international,Oliver Kahn in his official testimonial for FC Bayern Munich. Along with Kahn, stars like Ze Roberto and Mark van Bommel were present in the Bayern team. The match was played on May 27, 2008 at Salt Lake Stadium.
On December 29, 2012, Mohun Bagan were barred from competing in the I-League for 2 years after a decision was taken by the I League core committee. All their results in the I-League were declared cancelled. But within a few days, the ban was lifted for a fine of Rs. 2 Crore. The score tally of Mohun Bagan was re-set to zero,but Mohun Bagan performed well and were able to avoid relegation. In fact the performance in this phase was exemplary and if the cancelled points were taken into account, Mohun Bagan would have finished amongst the first four or five. Among other decisions related to the contentious issue, no official from Mohun Bagan will be allowed to represent the club in AIFF or I-League meetings in the current calendar year.
Mohun Bagan currently have one of the biggest fan bases in India. Currently, Mohun Bagan supporters run their own fan site for Mohun Bagan, known as Sabuj Maroon Swapno.