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Former CFC coach donates jerseys, shoes to kids
Ex-Chennaiyin FC manager John Gregory proves his heart still beats for club and city by leaving a host of items for underprivileged children.
Former Chennaiyin FC manager John Gregory time and again showed why he is a true gentleman with a heart of gold.
During his stint with the two-time Indian Super League (ISL) title-winner, Englishman Gregory shared a strong bond with the CFC community, going to the extent of calling himself an ‘adopted Chennai boy’. But a ‘hurt’ Gregory proved it wasn’t an exaggeration, even during the toughest of times.
Here is an incident which took place on November 30 — the day on which Chennaiyin parted ways with the 65-year-old. Having endured a tough 14 months, one would have expected the departing head coach to catch the next flight home. That is exactly what Gregory did as well, but not on a sour note.
Before flying to London on the last Saturday of November, the former Aston Villa gaffer left a host of items for the underprivileged kids in the city. This act of generosity demonstrated his heart still beats for the club and city.
“After coming to know about the announcement, I was completely down. I went to the hotel despite knowing Gregory had already left. As I was talking to our goalkeeper Karanjit Singh, a club staff appeared all of a sudden and handed me a bag. I just couldn’t control myself and broke down immediately,” said Jenisha Rani, a core member of Supermachans — the official fan club of CFC.
“Prior to the season, our coach told me he would like to give away some of his training kits from last season, which have #77 in it. He had brought them from his homeland and wanted to reach those in need. I was planning to collect them during the course of ISL 6, but never did (before he left). I thought he would have packed everything and took them to England. To my surprise, he didn’t,” added Jenisha.
A part of the proceedings — which included jerseys, shorts, shoes — were handed recently to Elangovan, coach and co-owner of Young Men’s Social Club, a side based out of Pulianthope. For the past two decades, former player Elangovan has been tirelessly working with slum kids, in a bid to unearth more gems from Tamil Nadu.
“This is not the first time he has done such an activity. Before ISL 2018-19, Gregory had contributed for the Supermachans Giveaway, sending loads of things all the way from London.” Gregory may have cut official ties with Chennaiyin a couple of weeks ago, but deep down he remains an integral part of the community.