Rajaraman braves odds to attend Chennaiyin matches

At a time when even the season ticket holders have given the home games a miss, Chennaiyin FC super fan Rajaraman has braved the odds a few times to catch his local club live at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here.
Chennaiyin FC midfielder Dhanpal Ganesh (right)  presents a home jersey to Rajaraman
Chennaiyin FC midfielder Dhanpal Ganesh (right) presents a home jersey to Rajaraman

Chennai

As the 23-year-old was born with a congenital bone disorder, chances of him fracturing his bones are high. But even that has not stopped him from attending Indian Super League 6 fixtures of CFC, a club which he has been supporting for the last five years. Rajaraman made his debut appearance in the contest against Mumbai City FC on October 27.

“I used to glue myself to the television set whenever Chennaiyin played in the first five editions. Prior to this season, I had never been to the stadium. All these years, I hoped to make it to the Marina Arena one day,” said Rajaraman, who got hooked to football during the FIFA World Cup 2010.

“When I watched my first-ever game at the JN Stadium, I had a fantastic experience. It’s a whole lot different compared to enjoying the action on television. In TV, you get to see only what the cameras show you but that isn’t the case when you are physically present at the arena,” added Rajaraman, a Chennai-based youngster.

Rajaraman was grateful to Supermachans – the official fan club of Chennaiyin – for turning his dream into reality.

“I got in touch with a core member of the club through a common friend. We used to text each other and he would invite me to games. I was not in a position to make it happen last year. But this time around, I was able to. The members of Supermachans have beenvery supportive.”

CFC had edged Hyderabad FC in an edge-of-the-seat thriller last month, thanks to a stoppage time strike from Nerijus Valskis. As the Chennai-based outfit had notched up its first victory of the season, the crowd went bonkers. And, Rajaraman, seated in his wheelchair in the hospitality box, was no exception.

“It was great to be a part of that match. We hadn’t scored this season prior to that game. Even when HFC equalised in the fifth minute of added time, I had the feeling that CFC had time for one more attack.Luckily, Chennaiyin converted through Valskis,” saidRajaraman.

“Once the game was over, our former gaffer John Gregory walked up to me and told: ‘You are our lucky charm’. I responded: ‘It’s because of the efforts of the players’. It was such a memorable moment,” revealed Rajaraman, who also had the opportunity to interact with CFC players like Karanjit Singh, Jeje Lalpekhlua and Dhanpal Ganesh.

(Indian Super League Season 6 can be caught live on Star Sports Tamil 1 channel)

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