Updated: Sep 26, 2019
Indian's first hat-trick Man , the Legendary footballer from Shillong Puran Bahadur Thapa. It was in the year 1954 at the Eden Gardens ground in a Quadrangular tournament against Pakistan He made history by scoring the first international hat-trick goals for India. Puran Bahadur Thapa (1928-2014) from Nasapatighari in Upper Mawprem in Shillong who entertained crowd with his stunning left-footer skill. It is said that his left-footer was so well balanced, powerful and accurate that it left the spectators enthralled in the 1950s. In 1955,
Thapa was lined up for India against the USSR Services team, which contained legendary players like Boris Tatushin, Igor Netto and Lev Yashin in an international friendly, at the National Stadium in Delhi. Thapa’s gameplay impressed the Soviet team manager to such extent that he went on to the press box and enquired about him after the match.
While up close in an interview with his Daughter Pratipa Thapa, said he had a very friendly personality, while at the same time he was a person of discipline which he followed strictly throughout his life. In the year 1947 he enrolled in the Indian Army and notwithstanding several offers from major Kolkata football clubs, he preferred the security of the army job over football, he retired as Lt Colonel. Puran Bahadur, conversely, missed the opportunities to represent the country in the major international tournament like the Olympics or the Asian Games for a number of reasons. One, it was felt, was that he wanted to serve the country while being in the mount of the army. After retirement,
Thapa started nurturing local football talents in Shillong and he also holds the merit of being the first coach of Shillong Lajong FC that was earlier known as Lajong Sports and Cultural Club.