The Regiment won the coveted Durand Football Trophy in 1955, the first Indian Army outfit to win this prestigious Soccer Trophy, and there was an “Encore” in 1958. Not with standing many sports personnel lured by the public sector enterprises, the corporate sectors and the leading clubs, the Regiment has consistently made an impact at National and International level.
Having been raised in the 1950-‘s, the MRC football team was a name to reckon with in the fifties and sixties. During that period there were a number of good football teams in other military establishments, like MEG Bangalore, Artillery centre Deolali, EME Centre Secunderabad, Gorkha Brigade Dehra Dun, etc.
The performance of MRC Football team was indeed exceptional. MRC was the only military team, post Independence to win the coveted DURAND Cup twice in 1955 and 1958. The other tournaments won were ; Southern Command tournament 1958; Trichur football Gold cup tournament in 1958, 1961 and 1962; Sree Krishna gold Cup in 1960, 1961 and 1964; All India Lakshman Das Memorial tournament in 1961; Delhi Cloth Mills tournament in 1962 and the Dr Shorne memorial tournament in 1963.
The Regiment has produced several players who have donned National and Service Colours and have particpted in global events . To name a few; Sub P. Sadasivan Nair, represented India in the pre Olympics at Kabul in 1959; Hav P Thangaraj was the goal keeper for India in Melbourne Olympics 1956 and Rome Olympics in 1960; Nb Sub Alphonse represented India against China in Delhi. He also donned the services and national colours for Hockey. The most outstanding football players to emerge from the Regiment was Hav P Thangaraj who in 1961eventually left for a professional football team in Calcutta. He continued to represent the Indian team later too. Sub Aruldass has been an outstanding Captain of the football team in the 50′ and 60’s.
The football teams in most of our Battalions have displayed very high standards and most of them have been winning tournaments at the Division and Command levels. There is no doubt that the Madrasssis will continue to excel in the years to come too.
Arjuna Award: Hav P Thangaraj
Thangaraj was the forerunner of modern goal keeping who kept The MRC Football team together and initiated moves from the goal to the forward line. Thangaraj led the services team for its first ever triumph in the Santosh Trophy in 1961.
He represented India in Melbourne and Rome Olympiads in three successive Asian Games from 1958. Named as the “Best Goal Keeper of Asia” in 1958, he was presented with Arjuna Award in 1967. Thangaraj retired from Active Football in 1971.Peter Thangaraj passed away at the age of 72 on 24th November 2008.
Athletics: Havildar Irfan KT
In the recent times Havildar Irfan KT has been showing great promise in athletics. He participated in the World Race Walking Cup held at Saransk (Russia) on 12 May 2012 in 20 Km Walk event and secured 19th position by completing the race in 1:11:09 and qualified for London Olympics. He represented the country in London Olympics and completed the race in 1:20:21 and secured 10th position at the Games. In doing so he also created the new national record.
Mountaineering – Col (Later Brig) Krishan Kumar, AVSM
The trumpets herald the achievements of this Glorious Regiment, with the opening note “Lure of the Everest”. The Tibetans call this lofty peak as “Chomolungma” which mean “Goddess Mother of the World.” Earlier known as peak XV this was renamed as “Mount Everest” after Sir George Everest, Surveyor General of India in 1830-1843. To reach the summit of this highest peak in the world is a dream of every mountaineer. With the opening of the Tibetean route the dream became a reality on 29 May 1953, when Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reached the summit. It was only after 48 years that the Indian Army Mountaineering Team could succeed in reaching the peak. The team, which reached the summit on 23 May 2001 and hoisted the National and Regimental Flag on the peak, was led by Col (later Brig) Krishan Kumar AVSM, of the Regiment.