What's the story?
Indian Super League (ISL) top-scorer, Iain Hume who is set to don the yellow jersey of Kerala Blasters after a hiatus of two years, was given a rousing welcome by the fans during the launch of the team's jersey for the fourth season in Kochi on Saturday.
“It is great to see such a massive crowd attending the function. I am forever grateful for their unconditional love," said the overwhelmed Canadian striker, who was an out-an-out fan favourite for the yellow brigade during the inaugural ISL season in 2014.
As they made their way to the stage to unveil the jersey, the crowd went berserk chanting the name of their beloved star. “I look forward to another memorable season in 2017 with the continued support and encouragement from everyone," Hume added.
In case you didn't know
Hume, who had won the Best Player of the League award for his exploits with Kerala Blasters in 2014, was picked up by ATK in the next edition. He went on to become one of the mainstays of the Red and Whites and helped them win their second title in 2016.
After scoring 18 goals in two seasons for ATK, Hume is rejoining his first ISL club and will aim to guide the Sachin Tendulkar co-owned team to their first-ever title.
The heart of the matter
In a glittering ceremony organised by the Kerala Blasters management at Lulu Mall in Edappally, Hume was accompanied by Rino Anto, Ajith Sivan and assistant coach Thangboi Singto.
“The atmosphere during the kit launch was electric. I’m certain that Kerala is ready to usher in ISL frenzy," said Rino Anto.
Kerala Blasters' fans are one of the most passionate supporters which can be found not only in India but also the entire world. They come in thousands and turn the Jawarharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi into a sea of yellow. The vociferous crowd create an atmosphere which can be unnerving for any away team.
After losing two finals to ATK, the only thing which this lot deserves in an ISL title. With Hume back in the scheme of things along with marquee signing, Dimitar Berbatov, the Blasters can again dream of putting together victories and making it to the final four, to take another shot at glory.
The Blasters have already captured the imagination of the dedicated fan base by introducing club merchandise. The home jersey can be bought at just Rs 499. By keeping the price as low as this, the management have ensured that every fan gets a piece of the jersey, which the players consider as their skin.
Also by making Hume the focal point of promotions, Kerala Blasters have cashed in on the striker's awesome relation with the fans.