Ex-East Bengal football captain Shanto Mitra dead

Kolkata: Former Indian national team assistant coach and East Bengal captain Shanto Mitra died here on Sunday following a prolonged illness, club sources said.

Mitra, 75, leaves behind his wife and a daughter.

Mitra defied his lean frame to acquire fame as left back in national football – a strong power of anticipation and receiving skills being his forte – in the 1960s and early 1970s.

He captained East Bengal when it beat Iran’s PAS Tehran club in a 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. He hung his boots in 1975.

Besides East Bengal, Mitra plied his trade for Wari FC and Bengal Napur Railway FC (BNR).

Mitra was also part of the Indian squad once.

In 1969-70, Mitra captained the Bengal team that won the Santosh Trophy.

After his retirement, Mitra was part of the Indian team when Yugoslav coach Ciric Milovan was in charge.

Along with Karnataka’s Amjad Khan, Mitra was part of India’s 1984 Nehru Cup triumph as assistant coach.