Beighton Cup

Beighton Cup is one of the oldest field hockey tournaments running till date. Instituted in 1895, it is organised by Hockey Bengal earlier called Bengal Hockey Association and used to be held on natural grass at the Mohun Bagan ground on the Maidan in Kolkata (earlier called Calcutta) in India and for last few years has been held on Astro Turf (artificial grass) at Sports Authority of India (SAI East) in Kolkata.[1] The Beighton Cup was initially organized by the Indian Football Association, until the Bengal Hockey Association took over in 1905.[2]

Beighton Cup

In the 1940s and 1950s, Bengal had strong teams in Kolkata such as Customs and Port Commissioners, and Bengal-Nagpur Railway in Kharagpur. It went on to win the 1952 national hockey championship held in Kolkata, defeating Punjab.[3]

Dhyan Chand remembers

In his autobiography Goal!, the legendary Dhyan Chand remembers his Beighton Cup debut. He says, "In my opinion it is perhaps the best organised hockey event in the country. Kolkata is indeed lucky that it has at least three or four first class hockey grounds on the maidan, and this is a great advantage to run a tournament on schedule. Instituted in 1895, this tournament has had a non-stop run. World Wars I and II did not affect the tournament. Threats of Japanese bombs and actual bombings in Kolkata while the hockey season was on also did not prevent the tournament from being held. That being said, it is sad to think that the tournament had to yield to the communal frenzy which gripped the nation in 1946-47."[4]

He further says, "If anybody asked me which was the best match that I played in, I will unhesitatingly say that it was the 1933 Beighton Cup final between Calcutta Customs and Jhansi Heroes. Calcutta Customs was a great side those days; they had Shaukat Ali, Asad Ali, Claude Deefholts, Seaman, Mohsin, and many others who were then in the first flight of Indian hockey. I had a very young side. Besides my brother Roop Singh, and Ismail, who played for the Great Indian Peninsular Railway in Mumbai, I had no other really great player in the team. But I had a team which was determined to do or die. It was a great match, full of thrills, and it was just opportunism that gave us the victory. Customs were pressing hard and our goal was at their mercy. Suddenly I broke through and from midfield gave a long through pass to Ismail, who ran with Jesse Owens' speed half the length of the ground. A misunderstanding occurred between the Customs left-half and the goalkeeper, and Ismail, taking every advantage of it, cut through and netted the only goal of the match. We felt very proud of our triumph."[4]

Hockey in Kolkata

Apart from the Beighton Cup, Kolkata had many firsts in hockey to its credit. The first hockey association in India was formed in 1908 — the Bengal Hockey Association. The first national hockey championship of India was held in 1928. It was called the inter-provincials, with 5 provinces of undivided India participating. The first Indian Olympic team for the Amsterdam Games was selected in Kolkata after the 1928 nationals.[5]

Twenty-seven Olympic gold medals, two silver medals and one bronze medal ~ that is what Bengal's hockey can boast of. However, all that is history and Kolkata no longer has a hockey Olympian.[6] Despite its pioneering role in the history of Indian hockey, Kolkata is the only major metropolis in India without an artificial turf.[5] "How can you hope to produce international class players if you cannot give the players astroturf to play on?" asks Gurbux Singh, secretary of the Bengal Hockey Association.[6] Leslie Claudius agreed that the absence of astroturf is responsible for this decline, but added: "Ours was a different era. We were successful, so the enthusiasm for the game was naturally high. How can you have that today? Even the educational institutions are not interested in hockey nowadays. But you can’t blame them. Young people don't find hockey exciting enough. Maybe if we can give them astroturf, the fast surface can lure them back into the game."[6]

Big names

Leslie Claudius was the biggest name in Kolkata hockey; he played for Customs in Kolkata, and won 4 Olympic medals from 1948-1960 (3 gold, 1 silver).[2]

Recent results

Year Winner Runner-up
1952[7] Mohun Bagan Hindustan Aircraft, Bangalore
1958[7] Mohun Bagan Corps of Engineers, Kirkee
1960[7] Mohun Bagan Indian Navy
1968[7] Mohun Bagan Bengal Nagpur Railway
2001[8] Central Industrial Security Force, Chandigarh Border Security Force, Jalandhar
2002[9] Punjab Police Central Reserve Police Force
2003[10] Border Security Force, Jalandhar Indian Oil Corporation
2004[11] Punjab & Sind Bank Army XI
2005[12] Border Security Force, Jalandhar Army XI
2006[13] Punjab & Sind Bank Border Security Force, Jalandhar
2007[14] Indian Airlines Border Security Force, Jalandhar
2009[15] Indian Oil Corporation South Central Railway
2010[16] Air India Coal India
2011[17] Indian Oil ONGC
2012[18] Indian Oil Corporation Punjab National Bank
2014[19] Indian Oil Corporation Punjab National Bank
2016[20] Indian Oil Corporation Bharat Petroleum Corporation
2017 Tournament was not played Tournament was not played
2018 Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. Bharat Petroleum Corporation
2019 Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. Punjab National Bank


  1. "Beighton Cup". Retrieved 13 April 2007.
  2. O’Brien, Barry. "All hail hockey on history high". Eye on Calcutta. The Telegraph, 4 December 2004. Retrieved 13 April 2007.
  3. "Hockey in Bengal". Retrieved 13 April 2007.
  4. "The Beighton Cup". Archived from the original on 22 April 2007. Retrieved 13 April 2007.
  5. "Hockey in Kolkata". Retrieved 13 April 2007.
  6. Bandopadhya, Pratik. "Needed: a fresh approach". Sport. The Statesman 24 April 2006. Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 13 April 2007.
  7. "Mohun Bagan Retain Beighton Cup". The Indian Express. 16 May 1968. p. 10. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  8. "CISF clinches maiden Beighton Cup". The Hindu. 10 April 2001. Retrieved 13 April 2007.[dead link]
  9. "Punjab Police Regains Beighton Cup". The Hindu. 5 April 2002. Retrieved 13 April 2007.[dead link]
  10. "BSF douses IOC's hopes". The Hindu. 3 April 2003. Retrieved 13 April 2007.[dead link]
  11. "PSB is champion". The Hindu. 12 April 2004. Archived from the original on 5 May 2004. Retrieved 13 April 2007.
  12. "Border Security Force lifts Beighton Cup". The Hindu. 14 April 2005. Retrieved 13 April 2007.[dead link]
  13. "PSB lifts Beighton Cup". The Hindu. 11 April 2006. Retrieved 13 April 2007.
  14. "Indian Airlines lift Beighton Cup". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 11 April 2007. Archived from the original on 1 October 2007. Retrieved 13 April 2007.
  15. "Indian Oil lifts Beighton Cup". The Hindu. 16 December 2009. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  16. "Air India lifts maiden title". The Hindu. 16 December 2010. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  17. "Air India lifts maiden title". The Hindu. 12 November 2011. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  18. "Indian Oil retains Beighton Cup". The Hindu. 11 November 2012. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  19. "Beighton Cup: It's Indian Oil again". The Hindu. 5 December 2014. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  20. "Indian Oil beat Bharat Petroleum 5-3 to win 121 st Beighton Cup for 6th time". United News of India. 27 December 2016. Retrieved 8 February 2018.