(Last Updated on : 27/01/2011)
Sailendra Nath Manna was born on September 1, 1924, in Batra, Howrah District, Bengal. He graduated from the Surendranath College under the Calcutta University. Manna, the former India captain and defender par excellence, brought laurels to the nation with his virtuosity on the soccer turf. He began playing at the tender age of 14.
Sailendra Nath Manna's Football Career
In 1940 Manna started his football career with the second division Howrah Union in the Calcutta League when he was 16years old. Manna also played for the Calcutta University in the Inter-University Football Tournament in the year 1941. Later he joined the famous Mohan Bagan Atheletic Club in 1942 and spent about 19 years there. He became captain of the Mohun Bagan team in 1951 and continued his captaincy till 1955. During this tenure the team went on to win the Durand Cup
five times, including three times consecutively. His team also won the IFA Shield
six times, including four times continuously in a row. At the club level, Manna's name was synonymous with the Mohun Bagan AC. After joining the club in 1942, he remained with the green-and-maroon brigade for the rest of his career.
In the international domain, Manna was a member of the first-ever Indian football team on an overseas tour that took part in the 1948 London Olympics. Despite playing strongly, India lost to France by a narrow margin of 1-2. Post-Olympics, Manna led India to the inaugural Asian Games gold in 1951 when they beat Iran 1-0 in the final thus winning the Gold medal. Under Manna's leadership, India won four successive titles in the South East Asian quadrangular meet (featuring India, Pakistan, Burma and Sri Lanka) between 1952 and 1955.
Sailendra Nath Manna's Life Post Retirement
Post retirement Manna was involved into the administration of Mohan Bagan. In the year 1961 Manna began his coaching and then went on to become the Football Secretary of the club. He was finally raised to the position of the Assistant Secretary.
Awards and Honours to Sailendra Nath Manna
Sailendranath Manna is the only Asian footballer to be included in the list of 10 best Captains in the world by the English FA in 1953. In 1971 Manna was awarded the Padmashree by the Government of India. He has also been awarded the 'Footballer of the Millennium' by the All India Football Federation in 2000. In 2001 he was conferred upon the Mohan Bagan Ratna.