The show-stopper in football from Kashmir.

In Kashmir, a father had decided to throw a football at his son in 1990s when cricket was popular among youths in the valley. It’s the story of obedience like Parvez Rasool in cricket and the story of strong will like young Tajamul Islam in kickboxing, who bagged gold in Italy at the age of 8 – to rise among the ranks and encash the opportunity before earning the worldwide recognition.

The 33-year-old Kashmir footballer Mehrajuddin Wadoo, who hogged the limelight on the football field with his tiring efforts and had fought hard to eye the fame in football while making his Jammu and Kashmir State proud by achieving milestone after milestones.

Wadoo started at the tender age of 8, while playing day-long football at his home and thereon at the maidans. Wadoo was mentored by his father, Mohammad Sultan Wadoo, who himself had been a familiar name for J&K in Santosh Trophy.

Wadoo was motivated by his family members to find the place in the local clubs – to give wings to his career when he was 14. There on, the breakthrough came, Wadoo joined different clubs in India.

As soon as Wadoo appeared live on Television, back home to have the glimpses of a football poster boy for Kashmir, the young footballers and fans turned on their TV sets to watch him play and learn the niceties of the game.

“Being at Chennaiyin FC was like being with a family. I enjoyed my stint last season both on and off the field and I am delighted to have renewed with them again. I would like to thank Marco and the owners for giving me another chance at Chennaiyin and my aim will be to perform even better than last season,” Wadoo was quoted as saying by Goal.

Wadoo, who became the talk of the town had an incredible rise in his varied career which eventually took a huge leap in football when cricket had upper hand in the Kashmir.

In his early days of a football career, Srinagar’s Amira Kadal-born athlete had received his first cheque of INR 5, 000 while playing for Jammu and Kashmir State Police football team.

Kashmir athlete made his remarkable career while toying with opponents which not only made him a standout performer for the teams he had played for during past many seasons, but a strong contender for the national side and leagues.

This year, Indian Super League’s (ISL) defending champions Chennaiyin FC – the team co-owned by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, have re-signed Mehrajuddin Wadoo.

For the second edition of Indian Super League, Wadoo was picked by the Chennaiyin FC franchise which stunned FC Goa 3-2 to emerge as the 2015 title winners of the Indian Hero Football League.

Wadoo was also the member of J&K U21 team and after playing for J&K Police for a couple of years, he took a leap for the ‘Big Three’ in Kolkata.

The defender had played for FC Pune City in 2014 and was overwhelmed at signing the contract for Chennaiyin FC after almost notching berth for the semi-final in the first edition of Hero ISL League.

Last year, Chennaiyin FC camp was organised in Perugia, Italy, where they had to practice under the tutelage of Marco Materazzi along with Brazilian ace Elano Blumer.

The defender had praised Bernard Mendy’s input to the defence line has enjoined the new adventure while being a long-time midfielder.

Energetic Wadoo, in his short stints with all obstacles thrown in his way, took chances with highs and lows over the congealed maidans.

The all-rounder in football had 37 appearances so far for his franchise which includes one goal, 1 assist and two short on goals did his schooling at Mission School Rainawari, the area of summer capital Srinagar, and later had joined Sri Pratap High School and Amar Singh College.

The Hero Indian Football Super League (ISL) has not only overhauled the domestic circuit, but it had strengthened the potential of delivering the best products from football federation in the country itself.

Watching YouTube videos did a trick that came as an out-of-box idea for a footballer, who played a significant role for Sporting Club Goa, to triumph Indian Football Association (IFA) Shield trophy after 44 years.

The footballer had represented India for around 31 occasions and scored two decisive goals. It [football] has become a promising sport alongside cricket in Kashmir which often pulls the decent crowds at Bakshi Stadium and Polo Ground which has a synthetic turf.

Wadoo, who also runs an under-16 football academy in Srinagar, had enthralled the spectators with his football skills at home.

While being inclined toward football, Wadoo had the strong defending skills and in his early days, he learned the nuances of the game from different coaches including the one at home [his father].

Wadoo was the part of the Indian football team that won Nehru Cup 2007, the AFC Challenge Cup 2008 and the Nehru Cup in 2009. Wadoo scored the decisive goal against Bangladesh in December 2005, in South Association Football Federation Cup (SAFF), final at Karachi.

Wadoo had played at different leagues starting with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), in the 2002-2003, Indian Telephone Institute, Mohan Bhagan, East Bengal and Sporting Goa.

Wadoo started his football career as a striker when he had played for Iqbal Sports Club in 1997-98, and emerged out as a solid defender.

Brimming with confidence and having the steel of will Wadoo had responded well so far in his major appearances.

In Kashmir, the football clubs are producing a sound result, talent is setting a benchmark and many players would be seen representing their country sooner or later at national or international level.

    Tahir Ibn Manzoor is a staffer at, who follows cricket like food after listening to running commentary on a transistor radio when he was only eight, and penned down the scorecard when he turned 11. He Tweets @TahirIbnManzoor

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