India's Longest Playing Footballer Honoured

Mumbai, Dec 16 (IANS): One of India's longest playing footballers, now retired, has been given the "Lifetime Achievement Award" for his "valuable contribution" to the game - from 1954 until his retirement in 2008.

India Gymkhana, one of the oldest sporting clubs in the country, presented a trophy to the 77-year-old R.P. Ananthanarayanan at an event here.

RP, as he is widely known, began his football career with Ruparel College here in 1954. In 1961-62, he played for Bombay and was shortlisted for the Tokyo Olympics in 1964.

His career took him from the college team to Little Pioneer, Matunga Athletics, Caltex and finally Hindustan Petroleum, from where he retired as an employee in 1994.

A centre-half, RP played exhibition matches against Iran and Pakistan too. He hung up his boots on medical advice in 2008.

"I have always kept a low profile," the footballer told IANS. "The honour was unexpected. But I am happy."


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  • K P Aiyer, Mumbai

    Tue, Dec 18 2012

    There are many GOOD players who hang their boots in their forties and become legends. But RP carried on with his infective passion for the game into his SEVENTIES - that makes him A LEGEND OF A LEGEND. I am sure he must be keeping his Boots still WELL CLEANED and ready for action if the opportunity arises, and of course, his doctors permitting. long live the SILENT Hero - RP !

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  • Madhavi mahajan, hyderabad

    Tue, Dec 18 2012

    India is honoured to have such a great player and I wish and pray to god to give him so much energy and good health that he continues to give his valuable contribution to the game for another 77 years and is honoured with double lifetime Achievement Award. WE ALL LOVE YOU R.P. KAKA. CONGRATULATIONS ONCE AGAIN

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