The Durand Cup is the oldest football tournament in India.
Started in 1888 by Sir Henry Mortimer Durand, a foreign secretary of British India from 1884 to 1894, the Durand Cup was initially played in Shimla between the British Armed Forces, the British Indian Army and other armed units.
The first-ever Durand Cup Final was played between Royal Scots Fusiliers and Highland Light Infantry in 1888. Royal Scots Fusiliers became the first team to win the Durand Cup with a 2-1 scoreline.
During India’s pre-independence era, Black Watch and Highland Light Infantry were the teams with the most Durand Cups (five).
Highland Light Infantry were also the first to win the competition thrice in a row (1893, 1894, 1895).
Mohammedan Sporting Club became the first-ever Indian civilian team to win the Durand Cup after claiming a 2-1 victory over Royal Warwickshire Regiment in 1940.
Hyderabad City Police were the first champions of the Durand Cup in the post-Independence era, beating Mohun Bagan 1-0 in a final replay in 1950. The team would claim two more titles (1954 and 1957) before winning the 1961 Durand Cup under the new name of Andhra Pradesh Police.
Mahindra and Mahindra, later known as Mahindra United, became the second team in the post-independence era to win the Durand Cup under two different identities.
As Mahindra and Mahindra, the team won the Durand Cup in 1998. The rebranded Mahindra United triumphed in 2001 and 2008 before disbanding in 2010.
The Durand Cup winners list has 44 different winners, with Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan and East Bengal the teams with the most triumphs (16). The teams, furthermore, have twice shared the trophy in the past (1960 and 1982).
Mohun Bagan, for the record, are the only team in Durand Cup’s long history to lift the trophy for three seasons in a row, twice. (1963, 1964, 1965 and 1984, 1985, 1986).
FC Goa are the current holders of the Durand Cup, as a 105th-minute free-kick from Edu Bedia helped the Gaurs beat Mohammedan SC to claim their maiden title in 2021.
Durand Cup winners list
|Border Security Force||7||2||1988|
|Highland Light Infantry||5||1||1895|
|Hyderabad City Police / Andhra Pradesh Police||4||3||1961|
|Mahindra and Mahindra / Mahindra United||3||3||2008|
|York and Lancaster Regiment||3||1||1930|
|South Wales Borderers||3||0||1938|
|Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)||2||1||1907|
|Madras Regimental Centre||2||0||1958|
|King's Shropshire Light Infantry||2||0||1933|
|King's Own Scottish Borderers||2||0||1892|
|Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders||1||3||1936|
|United / Prayag United||1||1||2010|
|Army XI / Army Red||1||1||2005|
|North Staffordshire Regiment||1||1||1904|
|Royal Irish Rifles||1||1||1903|
|Somerset Light Infantry||1||1||1896|
|Royal Scots Fusiliers||1||1||1888|
|Royal Corps of Signals||1||0||1934|
|Durham Light Infantry||1||0||1926|
Author: William Paul
Featured photo: Twitter / Mohun Bagan