ISL 2017: From life-threatening injury to becoming ISL top scorer - Iain Hume's remarkable story of resurgence
Even a fractured skull couldn't stop the striker.
Iain Hume is a player who has easily become one of the most recognized names in Indian football. Every now and then, there comes a player who captures the imagination of the supporters like none before him and does things that few in attendance have witnessed before.
Hume is certainly one of those players and enjoys somewhat of a hero-like status in the Indian Super League far away from his native Canada. The reason is his sheer ease in scoring goals in tough conditions in front of raucous fans in an alien environment. His arrival at Kerala Blasters FC as a relative unknown in 2014 worked in his favour if nothing else as he showed very soon how his goalscoring prowess made him one of the most dangerous strikers in the ISL.
With a humble background as compared to the marquee signings, Hume played for the likes of Tranmere Rovers, Leicester City and Barnsley before coming to India to ply his trade in a career resurgence of sorts. The need for such a resurgence? An ill-fated blow to the head that would change the course of his career forever.
November 8th, 2008 marked an important day in Hume's career as in a game against Sheffield United, the then Barnsley forward went challenging for the ball against Sheffield defender Chris Morgan, who clocked him with an elbow to the skull. Such was the force of the flailing elbow that instant internal bleeding ensued and Hume had to be taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Following emergency surgery and regular monitoring, Hume miraculously made a recovery and returned after missing the entire remainder of that season. It is said that current Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech offered his help to Hume during this time, as he himself had faced a similar head injury back in the day.
After this life-changing incident, many would have proceeded with caution but Hume's desire to succeed in the sport was there for all to see and he joined Preston North End in 2010. An impressive 23 goals for the club put him back on the map and in 2014 he made the unlikely trip to India to join the Kerala Blasters ranks in the newly formed ISL. The rest, as they say, is history.
His 2015 move to ATK garnered a total of 18 goals in just 30 games, which remains an ISL record to date and he is likely to extend it as he gets set for the latest edition. His recent move back to Kerala has fans excited and for good reason as well, as Hume still has plenty left in the tank.
He is no doubt here to stay, and following such a death-defying return, it's safe to say that the Canadian will stop at nothing to prove he's still the best in the ISL.