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Karuna Sankar Bhattacharya


Karuna Sankar Bhattacharya was a former Indian footballer who represented and captained the Indian football team and Mohun Bagan.

Karuna Sankar (Habla) Bhattacharya represented Mohun Bagan for 9 consecutive seasons from 1930 onwards. He played in Mohun Bagan alongside legendary players like Gostha Pal, Umapati Kumar, Dr. Sanmatha Dutta, Bimal Mukherjee, Satu Chowdhury among many others. From 1938 onwards he played for a few years with Customs.

After brushing up his football skills under the coaching of Dukhiram (Umesh Chandra) Majumdar, Karuna Sankar Bhattacharya started his football career in Aryan before joining Mohun Bagan in 1930. He scored several important goals in his football career while playing as the right-in in the 2-3-5 formation.

He was the Captain of the Indian team that went to Australia in 1938. He also was part of the Indian team that played against the Olympic team of China in 1936. The match ended in a 1-1 draw, with India playing their hearts out.

Karuna Bhattacharya also was part of several Indians vs Europeans football match from 1931 to 1939. During this period, he played against the Europeans in 1932 (5-0), 1933 (2-1), 1935 (5-0), 1937 (1-0), 1938 (0-1), and 1939 (2-2). In this series which was held once a year, Karuna Bhattacharya scored in 1932 (2 goals), 1935 (2 goals), 1939 (1 goal). He also was part of the IFA XI side that went to a Sri Lanka and South Africa tour in 1933 and 1934 respectively.

After retiring from football, he became the Football Secretary of Mohun Bagan in 1955 and 1961 and also worked as the Tennis Secretary in 1954. He also was the Manager of the Green and Maroon brigade in several tournaments including Far East tour in 1956, tour of East Africa in 1961 and tour of Sri Lanka in 1968. He was the first footballer who also worked as an English commentator. He along with Badal Bhowmick and Nirmal Mukherjee formed the “Veterans Club”.

Mohun Bagan conferred the “Mohun Bagan Ratna” to Karuna Bhattacharya in 2015.