Sailen Manna

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Sailen Manna
Sailen Manna.jpg
Personal information
Full name Sailendranath Manna
Date of birth (1924-09-01)1 September 1924
Place of birth Howrah, Bengal, British India
Date of death 27 February 2012(2012-02-27) (aged 87)
Place of death Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Playing position Defender
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1940–1942 Howrah Union
1942–1960 Mohun Bagan
National team
1948–1956[1] India 14[1]
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Sailendra Nath Manna (1 September 1924 – 27 February 2012), known popularly as Sailen Manna, was an Indian International Footballer and is considered to be one of the best defenders India has ever produced.[2] He has represented and captained India in different international competitions including Olympics and Asian Games. He also has a record of playing for Mohun Bagan, one of the best clubs in India, for a continuous period of 19 years.[3] He is the only Asian Footballer ever to be named among the 10 best Captains in the world by the English FA in 1953.[4]


He graduated from the Surendranath College, an affiliated college of the University of Calcutta. He worked for the Geological Survey of India.[5]

Club career[edit]

Manna started his playing career for Howrah Union, then a club in the 2nd Division Kolkata Football League, in 1940.[3][6] After turning out for the club for a couple of seasons, he joined Mohun Bagan in 1942 and continued playing for the club for a period of 19 years, till his retirement in 1960. During this period, he was the Captain of Mohun Bagan from 1950 to 1955.[3] It is to be noted that during his 19 years career in Mohun Bagan, he reportedly earned only Rs.19[7] (roughly USD 0.5 based on existing exchange rates). As a defender, he was known for his anticipation, covering and a strong free kick.[7]

International career[edit]

Sailen Manna was a part of the Indian Football Team for the 1948 London Olympics, where Indian lost to France by a margin of 1-2.[7] Under Manna's captaincy, India won the Gold Medal in the 1951 Asian Games and also won the Quandrangular Tournament for four consecutive years from 1952 to 1956.[3] In 1953, the England Football Association rated him among the 10 best skippers of the world in its yearbook.[4] Manna was also the captain of the Indian team in 1952 Olympics[8] and a member of the 1954 Asian Games.

Honours and awards[edit]

  1. Included in the list of the 10 best Captains of the world by English FA in 1953.[4]
  2. Awarded the Padma Shri in 1971 by the Government of India.[3]
  3. Awarded the "Footballer of the Millennium" by All India Football Federation in 2000.[9]
  4. Awarded "Mohun Bagan Ratna" in 2001.[10]


After being unwell for quite some time, Manna died at a private hospital in Kolkata on Monday, 27 February 2012. He was 87 years old and was survived by his wife and daughter.[11]


External links[edit]