Mohun Bagan Ratna 2009
Samar Banerjee more popularly known as ‘Badru Banerjee’ is regarded as one of the stalwarts of the Indian football squad that made its name at international stage during the 1950s. He was born in Bali, Howrah district.
Badru Banerjee started his career from a division three club – Bali Prativa in 1948 and did exceedingly well with them. He soon moved to the Bengal Nagpur Railway (B.N.R). Slowly and gradually, he won the lower league championship and made his move up to the highest level. He played in Mohun Bagan from 1952 to 1959. He was the Captain of Mohun Bagan in 1958.
He was also the captain of Indian team in 1956 Melbourne Olympics. The team defeated Australia 4-2 in the quarter final but then crashed out of the tournament 4-1 losing to a very strong Yugoslavian team in the semi final, which had beaten United States 9-1 earlier in the tournament. India ended up in fourth position which remains India’s best finish in an Olympic. Badru Banerjee represented Bengal in Santosh Trophy from 1952-1956. He won the Santosh Trophy in 1953 and 1955 with Bengal and then went on to captain the state in 1956.
Samar Banerjee coached Barisha and Bengal sides, and led the Bengal outfit to a Santosh Trophy triumph in 1961 but surprisingly, never got an offer from any of the big clubs. Badru Banerjee later became selector and was a reason for selecting the best crop of players.
He received the “Mohun Bagan Ratna” Award in 2009.