KOCHI: It was arguably the most priceless jersey that footballer CK Ubaid had in his possession. The 31-year-old goalkeeper marshalled Kozhikode outfit Gokulam Kerala FC's goalposts in it, as they won the 2020-21 I-League title and became the first club from Kerala to win a national league title.
Having gone through a range of experiences like being in bio-bubble, engaging in one of the closest I-League title fights and the open top bus parade with the title through the streets of Kozhikode, there were a lot of memories attached to it.
However, as the country continues to battle the second wave of Covid-19, Ubaid decided that he will give away his jersey for auction and donate the amount received to the Kerala Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund.
The base price of the jersey has been set at Rs 15,000, but given the history attached to it, there will be a lot of takers for this special piece of souvenir.
"There are far too many memories attached to it. It was a surreal season both on and off the pitch and to win the title with Gokulam and be the first team from Kerala to do so, it is extra special. I was planning to frame it and keep it at home but when I was approached to have it auctioned, I didn't think too much as the money generated from it could help a lot of people. I knew this could make a difference and hopefully motivate people to come forward and do their bit," said Ubaid.
It was the Kuthuparamba Area Committee Wing of Students' Federation of India which approached the former East Bengal player for the jersey and he obliged.
Ubaid featured in every match for Gokulam last season after missing the opener due to a minor injury and kept five clean sheets as Gokulam pipped Churchill Brothers and TRAU FC to the title on the final matchday.
"The jersey was very important to me and it holds a lot of value. I just hope that it draws a good response from people so that it can help maximum people." he said.
After two seasons with Gokulam where he won the Durand Cup and the I-League, the veteran keeper is a free agent now. He is weighing up his options and hasn't ruled out a return to Gokulam but admitted that things are a little complicated due the pandemic.
"The uncertainty surrounding when the next season will start has made it difficult to make a decision. Returning to Gokulam is one option. I just want to weigh up all my options, but it is not easy at the moment. There are questions over how the season will be held and where it will be held. All I can focus right now is to try and maintain my fitness and wait for the right opportunity," he said.