Diego Maradona kicks a ball towards the young trainees of the Football Friends Free Coaching Centre at the Municipal Jawahar Stadium in Kannur on Wednesday | A Sanesh
Few happier things can happen to the citizens in Kannur than welcoming football legend Diego Maradona amongst their midst. The international star who was in the city to inaugurate Chemmanur Jewellers and their airline services looked more than enthusiastic to meet his fans.
As the chopper carrying Maradona and Bobby Chemmanur circled around the Municipal Jawahar Stadium before touching down, the crowd broke into a frenzied pandemonium. Finally, when Diego Maradona appeared on the pavilion, the 60,000-odd football fans burst with excitement.
The crowds had begun thronging the stadium premises since the previous night to ensure they do not miss the chance to catch a glimpse of the arguably the best footballer ever. The stadium gates were open to the public from 7 am and not surprisingly, the stadium filled up within 30 minutes.
Cultural programmes by prominent artistes helped in downplaying the intensity of the agonising wait. Singers Meghna and Saneesh did their part to keep the crowds entertained. The colourful performances by Russian dancers along with ‘quick change’-- a unique costume change dance form performed by TV show ‘India’s Got Talent’-fame artistes added flavour to the programmes. That, coupled with the compering of Ranjini Haridas and the tricks of a Maradona look-alike, kept the spirits high throughout the event.
Maradona’s birthday, which falls on October 30, was celebrated in style with the icon cutting a fabulous birthday cake along with other prominent dignitaries present. He danced and sang his way into the hearts of the supporters, even displaying his skills with the foot and passing the ball to I M Vijayan, former Indian football team captain, who exchanged few quick passes between them, much to the excitement of the people.