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Read More... Glorious  Era  of Bengali Youngmen Association [BYA]

IN the 20th century Lucknow was not only hub for cultural renaissance which shaped K.G.M.C Medical College, Canning College [Lucknow University], Arts college, Music collage, Boys and Girls educational institutions like Convents, IT Collage, Mahila Collage, Queen’s Anglo Sanskrit Inter college, Christian Collage, Government jubilee Collage, Kanyakubj Inter College etc. but also Lucknow became epoch for sportsmen and sports lovers. It was days of functional sports clubs like BYA, LYA, MYA and many associations which promoted the sports activities as well as cultural revival. The players and organizers of these clubs used to put their blood and soul for upliftment of standard of game. The term professionalism was not in vogue and armature players played so professionally that they got recognition in state, national and international arena .Earning money while performing game was not the motto in yeast years, only audience applause was motivation for their performance. It is also a fact that many players in spite of having ability of high quality in game remained unsung in today’s digital world. Print media was only instrument for mass communication but sports reporters used to visit the ground and give their report impartially. It was not out of place to mention here that the then English and Anglo Indian community supported sport activities with honest zeal and merit was only benchmark.  

Bengali Youngman Association [BYA] came into existence some time in 1880 and enjoyed reputation in sports arena till 1950. Those days football was a popular game in U.P [previous united provinces]but it was not well organized. one Sri P. Ghosh came here from Kolkata where he played football in reputed club, took responsibility to organize the game in U.P. Dr. Ramlal Chakrabarty of Balrampur Hospital LKO was one of the principle architect of [BYA] donated Dr. Ramlal Silver Cup for football. A popular tournament was organized under the banner of above cup and teams from U.P. as well as out of state participated in it. At that time hockey was also gaining popularity simultaneously and youngsters paved their ways in new discipline which ultimately churned out great players, organizers and promoters. The popularity of Hockey spread like a wild fire and keeping in view popularity for hockey MR. W.TOOP of Indian police and MR. REEZ Principal of Colvin Talukedar collage converted Dr. Ramlal silver cup for hockey for promotion of game. First hockey tournament for the cup was played in 1913 which was won by Allahabad Hookers BYA also participated in it. In 1916-17 BYA won the cup. The tournament was at the peak of its popularity in northern India and many reputed teams out of U.P participated in this tournament. In first 25 years of tournament BYA lifted the cup for 9 times and enjoyed runners position 5 times, a remarkable feat in those days.

Gradually BYA had become household name for sports lovers. it won prestigious Brighten Cup Kolkata in 1918 and 1920 and also reached in finals in many occasions. BYA hockey team has won many important hockey tournaments in the state like Sultan Cup, Banwari Lal Cup, Hafeez Memorial Trophy, Shushil Memorial Trophy, Bulbul cup, Bum Bahadur Shah Hockey tournament, Srivastava Memorial cup and also participated in Agha Khan cup. BYA churned great hockey players in yesteryears. It was a time when BYA was the benchmark for state and national team. In today’s professional world many players who represented BYA forgotten in depth in time and unfortunately no record was maintained by the club. While going through the memory lane some prominent name surfaced like S/Sri  Sucharu Dey, Imadul Islam, Awaz Ali, N.N. Mukherjee [Habul], A.N.Chaudhary [Toko], K.D Singh (Babu), Mulchand Bhargav, P.C Bnnerjee [Haru], Thakur Ram Baswan Singh, Dr. A.C Ghosh [Bachhi], Dr. S.K Bose, MOHD Haseen, Rao Usman Khan, Iliaaz khan, Butler, Hammend, Murray, D.R. S.K. Mukherjee, Wazid khan, Guznaffar [Chunnan], Pratap Narayan Pathak, Iftikhar Hussain, H.K.Ghoshal [Munna], Evaz Ali, Guru Charan Lal, Master Munir, Anant  Ram Mishra [ANANT], Bhupa, Sheela and G.N.Bannerjee [Bulbul].

BYA Lucknow has contributed significantly in promotion of hockey which unfortunately not passed out to new generation. It is also a fact that pattern of game has undergone a change more particularly on Astroturf. It is now a power game instead a game of brain. Sri N.N. Mukherjee [Habul] chief  coach Indian Olympic hockey team in 1948, 1952 and 1964 when India got gold had vision of the said change and trained his players  under the slogan LONG HIT AND RUN Which is still in vogue. It will not be fair if we do not speak about unique incidents happened with BYA stalwarts.

Sri S.C Dey [Sucharu Da] was captain of BYA hockey for long time and participated in many states and national tournament including Bighton cup. He was also a captain of Lucknow University [Canning collage] During examination he was found drawing map of team mates for evening match on his answer sheet of examination.

Sri N.N. Mukherjee [Habul] one of the giant left in hockey fraternity of the country. He was extra ordinary fast runner on the bare feet and dhoti tied as a langot. He was captain of the BYA for many years and won many laurels for the club. It was popular saying that once Dada is inside the D of the opponent team no power can stop from scoring. While playing in Bighton against the advice doctors and the scored the winning goal. In one of the match against Lahore team which comprises of some Olympians he scored goal almost from zero angle. Dhyan Chand hockey wizard in his book ‘goal’ mentioned that he learned many thing from dada’s game. After his active life he founded lucknow sport association [LSA] with the help of MR. G.D.GUIN commissioner of lucknow and Dr. A.C CHATTERJEE. Today where K.D. Singh Babu Stadium is situated was known as LSA Ground.  He arranged commonwealth cricket match in lucknow under the banner of LSA where three ‘W’s warrel, walls, Walcott played. He also arranged friendly cricket match with Pakistan in Lucknow. He wrote a book “how to play hockey” for learners. He was Chief Coach of Indian hockey team for Olympic in   1948,1952,1964 which won gold for India he passed away in 1996 in lucknow unvalued neither the state nor central government.


Helsinki Olympic in 1952. Habul da with Sri Balbir senior before Helsinki Olympic in 1952

Dr. A.C CHATTERJEE- Sports enthusiast, played for BYA hockey. He completed his D.SC under Dr. N.R.NAG BERLIN, GERMANY. He was the Head of Department in Lucknow University and retired as a V.C of Gorakhpur University. He was Manager of Indian Olympic squad for London in 1948 also for Rome Olympic in 1960.He was elected IHF secretary. His contribution in sports was acknowledged by MR. JUAN ANTONIOUS SAMARANCH President of IOC personally came to Delhi to honor him with silver medal of Olympic honor, a rear honor to any Indian. He too was not recognized by state and central government for his contribution


Sri A.N.CHAUWDHARIE [TOKO] was captain of BYA after Habul Da. He was in district hockey team at very young age. He played for the State with DHYANCHAND, ROOP SINGH. He was picked for National Team up by Professor Swami Jagarnath of Punjab. He brought many laurels for Bya and known to be best center half of that period. He was the secretary of LSA for 9 years and also played for Bavanipur team Kolkata. His father Rai Bahadur Untitled....1.jpgDr. R.N. Chaudharie was against his involvement in sports. Then teacher of Queens school of lucknow had paid annual fees from their salary. He passed away in 1993.

Sri G.N.BANNERJEE [BULBUL] A Great promising player and brought many laurels for BYA. He represented District and state hockey teams and well known for his performance. He was rising sun but destiny thought in otherwise. While playing for BYA he was hit on head by hockey stick by a member of opponent team and lost his mental balance. He remained in that state throughout his life and died unceremoniously. A hockey tournament known as bulbul cup was started but couldn’t last long for financial constrains.

Sri K.D.SINGH [BABU] great and very popular hockey player from lucknow. Product of kanyakubj college lucknow and lucknow university. Was a captain of 1948 Olympic hockey team and also represented 1952 Olympic hockey team. He played for BYA to get berth in national team. His popularity and performance excelled all limitations. He was given class promotion without appearing in exams as he was engaged for Bighton cup of kolkata. He also played cricket in Sheesh Mahal Tournament Lucknow and made a century. He was also skilled tennis player. For promotion of game he established sports collages for boys and girls. He was Regional sports officer looking after promotion of sports through the state. He was adequately awarded by state and central. His unfortunate death gave Jolt to sports lovers.

BYA golden era slowly and gradually started receding due to many factors playing grounds in lucknow are converted into commercial complexes. Sportsmen developed a linkage with political masters who are changing periodically Lack of Finance to promote the game another factor.