November 9, 2016
Ernakulam: When football champ Iain Hume had to celebrate his birthday on October 30, he had no qualms about doing so at his second home, Kochi. The Canadian football sensation, hailed as one of the best players in the Indian Super League (ISL) is Hume ettan (big brother) to Kochiites crazy about the game.
The player, who played for Kerala Blasters in the inaugural season, was a familiar face for football fans here, especially for the students of Choice School, whose sprawling grounds were taken over for practice sessions by the team during matches in Kochi.
No wonder his 33rd birthday was celebrated at the school, where a grand party awaited the player. Hume, who was accompanied by Atletico de Kolkata player Stephen Pearson, spent time with the kids, exhorting them to play real football, rather than get stuck in virtual games.
“Whenever 10 of you get together, form a team and start playing,” he said, advising students to stay focused and not get carried away by the idiosyncrasies of teenage years.
The kids had their share of questions; why, asked one student, had he ditched Kerala Blasters in the second season? Hume replied with a smile, “That’s football!”
The footballer, who took part in trials at 13 years, was picked up by renowned English club Tranmere Rovers and there has been no looking back.
Hume scored the first goal for Kerala Blasters in the first season against Chennai FC, giving the team a final 2-1 score at the end of the first season, and he was voted the best player of the season.
The event at Choice School was organised by Thomas Jose, son of Choice School President Jose Thomas.