The World Cup in Russia has left the football fans across the world glued to their seats. The tournament has seen a few thrilling affairs and has presented plenty of surprises on a platter. But for some, the love of the game keeps them happy and alive – whatever the age. One such fan is James PH, a 60-year old truck driver, who lives in a small village in Kerala. The sexagenarian still enjoys playing football with teenagers every day, and also watches the World Cup matches with them.
In a video shared on Facebook by Kerala Tourism, James said, “That’s the advantage of playing football. I am sixty now. And I play with the young footballers in the village. Though I might lack a bit in speed, I play the entire match with them. Every evening I get there earlier than the team and get into my warm-up routine. Then we play our hearts out.”
Talking about how he keeps himself fit at his age, the villager said, “Everybody wants to know what I eat to keep me playing at 60. It’s simple. Roasted groundnuts. It gives me the stamina. For my work, I drive a truck that carries timber. But I am clear about my priorities- even if I miss out on work, every day I make sure that I am home before the match begins. That’s something I’ll never compromise,” he said.
Age seems to be no bar for James as apart from playing football with youngsters, he can also do freestyle skills wearing a lungi!
Some Friday freestyling in Lungi! 😀👏👏👏
— football news india (@fni) March 9, 2018
Talking about the World Cup matches, James said that there is nothing better than watching a football game with friends. “In the past, we would walk kilometers to catch a world cup match, on a teeny weeny black and white TV. Today, every little town has so many big screens for the public! Of course, there’s nothing like screaming, arguing and watching the world cup with friends,” he said.
In the video, James further explained that he used to play for a local football team, The Ambalavayal FC, Wayanad, in the 1980s, which gained popularity among the locals. He added that he used to play as a defender, and also introduced to five of his former teammates, who were now working as businessman, tailor, furniture store owner, auto parts shop owner and lubricant shop owner.