KANNUR: Former FIFA Appeals Committee member and former chairman of Kannur Municipality, P P Lakshmanan (83) passed away on Monday. The death occurred around 1 am at a private hospital in Kannur.Thousands paid homage as his body was brought home around 11 am. The mortal remains will be taken to the Mahatma Mandiram on Wednesday, with the funeral scheduled to be held at Payyambalam around 4 pm.
PP, as he was fondly called by his friends and acquaintances, was a man of many facets. Passionate about football, he proved himself an able administrator serving the game for long. Even as India was taking baby steps towards professionalism, he was instrumental in introducing the National League for clubs which has now metamorphosed into the I-League.
Having served in many capacities, his contributions as a football administrator remains unparallelled. Starting off as the Kannur District Football Association president, PP went on to become the Kerala Football Association president and the All India Football Federation secretary before being named in the FIFA Appeals Committee. Having also served as the manager of the Indian team and as the AIFF working president, in 1997 he became the first Indian president of SAFF.
PP also marked his place as an industrialist in Kannur, donning the role of the president of the North Malabar Chamber of Commerce for long. Taking active interest in the socio-cultural activities in the district, he headed many organisations, including Lions Club.
Having served as a municipal councillor in Kannur for 11 years, he was the municipal chairman for two years. As a former KPCC member, he was also among the more active Congress functionaries in the district. His stints as the director of Pariyaram Medical College and as the chairman of Raidco also came in for praise for sheer grit and commitment.
Lakshmanan is survived by wife Prasanna, daughters Shamla, Smitha, Lasitha and Namitha, son Naveen, sons-in-law Sujith, Satheesh, Jayakrishnan and Prakash and daughter-in-law Simitha.
All party tribute on Wednesday
An all party hartal will be observed in Kannur in the afternoon on May 2 as a mark of respect during the funeral of P P Lakshmanan, said DCC president Satheeshan Pacheni. The loss of Lakshmanan will create a void in the public life of Kannur, said Pacheni in his condolence message. “He made a mark in every field he was actively involved in, be it football, politics or socio-cultural activities,” said Pacheni. The Congress will observe a mourning for three days in the district, with the party and its feeder organisations having decided to postpone all their activities during the period.