Durand Cup milestones
Mohammedan Sports Club made history in 1940 by becoming the first Indian club to win the Durand Cup. In the finals, this team beat Royal Warwickshire Regiment 2-1. Until that year, the Cup was won only by the British Indian Army teams. The following teams won the Durand Cup most times until 1947:
- Highland Light Infantry
- Black Watch
- York and Lancaster Regiment
- Lancashire Fusiliers
- York & Lancaster Regiment
- King's Shropshire Infantry
Indian clubs and their performances
East Bengal and Mohun Bagan have worn the Cup maximum times. Both teams have won Durand Cup 16 times each. Their rise coincided with the decline of older football clubs, such as Hyderabad Police and Madras Regimental Centre. Border Security Force has also won this Cup more number of times. FC Kochin from south India lifted Durand Cup for the first time in 1997.
Since its inception, Hyderabad City Police has won the Cup thrice. The winning years were 1950-51, 1954, and 1957-58. You would be delighted to know that Hyderabad Police dates its origins to 1848, when it reported to the Nizam of Hyderabad. After the reorganization of Telangana, Hyderabad Police became Andhra Pradesh Police and won the Cup once again in 1960-61.
East Bengal became Durand Cup winners for the first time in 1951 after beating the Rajasthan Armed Constabulary 2-1. Since then, East Bengal has won the Cup on 15 other occasions.
Mohun Bagan followed East Bengal in becoming the Cup winners in 1953. That year, the Kolkata-based football club defeated Pune-based National Defence Academy 4-0.
Another Indian Army unit, the Madras Regimental Center has won the Durand Cup only twice, once in 1955, and then in 1958.
The 60s and on
Border Security Force is the other prolific winner of the Durand Cup. This football club has won the championship five times, the first time being 1968. After 1988, BSF has never won this premier football championship.
JCT FC has won this title four times. It defeated Mohun Bagan in the 1983 and 1987-88 finals to lift Durand Cup twice. The other two victories came in 1992 and 1996 when JCT beat Mohammedan Sporting and Al-Nafi FC, respectively.
This article would be incomplete without mentioning Mahindra FC, which has won the Cup thrice. Mahindra FC had to beat tough rivals, such as Churchill and East Bengal to win Durand Cup.