Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee was on Sunday conferred the honorary lifetime membership by football club East Bengal in their 91st Foundation Day function in Kolkata.
"You have to earn an honour like this... East Bengal club has a rich heritage and their contribution to Indian football is immense," Mukherjee said.
With the honour, he said he is now a part of the East Bengal family.
"I hope to develop the football infrastructure in India," the finance minister said.
With the city reeling under a severe spell of the monsoons, the function got off to a delayed start.
East Bengal also felicitated three former football stars - Tulsidas Balaram, S (Paltu) Roy and Manilal Ghatak with a cash award of Rs 51,000 each.
Busy with the Queen's Baton Relay, Balaram, however, did not attend the function.
Barlaram was a member of India's 1956 Melbourne Olympic team member where the country stood fourth, a feat yet to be matched.
The function was also attended by former footballers P K Banerjee, Sailen Manna, Shyam Thapa, Bhaskar Ganguly among others.