Pradip Kumar Banerjee was born on 23 June 1936 in Jalpaiguri, Bengal Presidency, British India. He is a former Indian footballer and football coach. He played as a Striker. He has scored 65 goals in his entire career. At the age of 15, playing on the right wing, Banerjee represented Bihar in Santosh Trophy. In 1954 he joined the Aryan club of the Kolkata state in India. Later he represented Eastern Railway of India. He represented India in three Asian Games - 1958 in Tokyo, 1962 in Jakarta, where India won the gold medal, and 1966 in Bangkok. At the 1956 Summer Olympics held in Melbourne he was a part of the national team. Recurring injuries forced him to drop out of the national team and subsequently to his retirement in 1967.
P. K. Banerjee's first managerial stint came with East Bengal, joining the club as manager in 1972. Throughout Banerjee's managerial career, he would frequently return to manage East Bengal. He managed East Bengal when they trounced arch rival Mohun Bagan 5-0 in the 1975 IFA Shield Final, the biggest ever margin in Kolkata derbies. In 1976, Banerjee joined Mohun Bagan, guiding the club to a historic feat, winning the IFA Shield, Rovers Cup and Durand Cup respectively to achieve their first-ever triple-crown triumph in one season. He became the national coach in 1972, starting with the qualifying matches of the 1972 Munich Olympics. He went on to coach the Indian Football Team till 1986. He joined the Tata Football Academy at Jamshedpur and served as its Technical Director from 1991 to 1997. He was awarded the Player of the Millennium in 2005 by FIFA. He had also won the International Fair Play Award from the Olympic Committee, a feat that is yet to be repeated by any Indian footballer. In 1999, Banerjee again took up the post of the technical director of the Indian Football team.
PK Banerjee Facts:
He debuted in the Indian national team with the Quadrangular tournament of 1955 held in Dacca (now Dhaka), East Pakistan (now the capital of Bangladesh) as a 19 year old.
Frequent injuries were his real battle which ultimately led him to leave the national team.
He was captain of the Indian national team at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, where he scored an equalizer against France in a 1-1 draw. He guided Mohan Bagan to a historic win of the IFA Shield, Rovers Cup and Durand Cup respectively to achieve their first-ever triple-crown triumph in one season.
In 1972, he became the Indian national coach with the 1972 Munich Olympics qualifying matches being guided by him. He continued to coach the Indian Football Team till 1986.
PK Banerjee Records:
Asian Games Gold Medal: 1962
Colombo Cup: 1955
Merdeka Tournament runner-up: 1959, 1964; third-place: 1965
Received Padma Shri in 1990
Received Arjuna Award in 1961
Listed as Indian Footballer of the 20th Century by IFFHS.
FIFA Order of Merit, highest honor by FIFA in 2004
Banerjee is the only footballer from Asia who has been awarded the FAIR PLAY Award.
Mohun Bagan Ratna: 2011
Bharat Nirman Awards — Lifetime Achievement 2011
Also Read | Top 10 Indian football legends of all time