It was a trip down memory lane for actor Mammootty at the Goal 2013 venue on Wednesday. The film star did not hide his joy at meeting the yesteryear superstars, the players who had lifted the maiden Santosh Trophy for Kerala four decades ago in 1973.
“I was one among those who had watched the match at the Maharaja’s College Ground. Now, most of them have turned grey with goggles, but they were real gallants with lightning sparks on the ground then,” he said, before hoisting the flag of the All Kerala Inter-collegiate Football Tournament at the SH College Ground, Thevara. Mammootty offered a surprise by naming some of the 1973 team members. “It was great to watch Jaffer, Mony and Usman playing. Unfortunately, we have no video recordings of their incredible game. If there were recordings, they would have more fan following than many of the South American players,” he said.
“We should appreciate their efforts and achievements irrespective of whether they are yesteryear stars as there is no discrimination of race, colour or country in sports,” he said, referring to the sportsman’s spirit. Mammootty had a special reason for attending the event.
“I am really happy to be here. I was a student of SH College before moving to Maharaja’s. Though we had a good ground here, I did not play football. I did not get time to play football for two reasons, one - I was a day scholar - and then I did not have the courage to play,” he said, amid the sound of trumpeting of the cheering of young fans who thronged the ground.
He appealed to the Union Minister to give due consideration to the sports talents in the state as he felt that there is a bias towards players from the south. “There is no South or North India, but only India,” he said.