Gostha Pal

Gostha Behari Pal (20 August 1896 – 8 April 1976) was an Indian professional footballer. He was the first captain of India national team, played during the 1920s and 1930s.[1]

Gostha Pal
Gostha Pal 1998 stamp of India.jpg
Pal on a 1996 stamp of India
Personal information
Full name Gostha Behari Pal
Date of birth (1896-08-20)20 August 1896
Place of birth Bhojeswar, Bengal Presidency, British India
Date of death 8 April 1976(1976-04-08) (aged 79)
Place of death Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Position(s) Defender
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1907–1912 Kumartuli AC ? (?)
1912–1936 Mohun Bagan ? (?)
National team
1924 – 1930s India ? (?)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Personal lifeEdit

Pal was born in Bhojeswar, Faridpore, Bengal Presidency (currently located in Bangladesh). He moved to Kolkata when he was an infant and lived there till his final days.

Football careerEdit

Nicknamed as "Chiner Pracheer" (The Wall of China) he was one of the best defenders of contemporary Indian football. He started playing for Kumartuli A.C. aged 11, and joined Mohun Bagan at the age of 16. In 1921, Gostho Paul was honored with the captaincy of the Mohun Bagan football team, and he remained as the club captain for next 5 years. In 1924, he was also appointed as the captain of the Indian national football team. He retired in 1935.[2]


The statue of Gostha Pal at the Kolkata Maidan.

A statue was erected in the memory of Gostho Pal Sarani[3] in 1984, at Kolkata Maidan area, in Kolkata.[4]


  • Awarded Padma Shri in 1962, fourth highest civilian award in India.[5][6]
  • Mohun Bagan AC awarded him the Mohun Bagan Ratna posthumously, which is given to former greats of that club, in 2004. The family of Gostha Pal returned the Mohun Bagan Ratna to Mohun Bagan Club in 2019 in protest of the lackadaisical attitude of the club towards the legend's memorabilia.[7]


  1. ^ Top 10 Bengali footballers in the history of Indian football Khel Now. Retrieved 12 September 2021
  2. ^ "Gostho Pal: The Chinese Wall of Indian Football". Live Indian Football.
  3. ^ "People forgetting Gostha Paul: Son". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 17 July 2021. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
  4. ^ Mamata Banerjee pays homage to legendary footballer Gostha Pal on his birth anniversary New Indian Express. Retrieved 9 September 2021
  5. ^ "India's greatest footballer" (about Sailen Manna), SportsStar, The Hindu, 15 April 2006 Archived 23 January 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "National Award winning Footballers". indianfootball.de. Indian football. Archived from the original on 1 October 2018. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  7. ^ Mohun Bagan misplaced Gostha Pal's Padma Shri award, claims son Outlook India. Retrieved 9 September 2021

External linksEdit