Malayalam movies made on the topic of football 'Captain' and 'Sudani from Nigeria' have won numerous awards in the 49th Kerala State Film Awards. While the former is a biography based on the life of former India captain VP Sathyan who committed suicide, the latter depicts the story of three Nigerian players who play for a team in local 'Sevens' football and their sufferings.
VP Sathyan made a staggering 81 appearances for the senior Indian national team from 1985 to 1995 playing as a center-back and a full back. He led India in the 1994 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers where the Blue Tigers managed to pick up only one win and one draw. Despite the abysmal performance of the team, his performance was the only silver lining as he scored two of their eight goals albeit not being a striker. He was also a part of the India squad that participated in the 1984 Seoul Asian Games.
Representing his state Kerala, VP Sathyan led them to glory in the 1992 Santosh Trophy and was a vital cog of the Kerala Police team that won the Federation Cup twice in 1990 and 1991. He even had stints with Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan and Mohammedan SC and Chennai-based Indian Bank.
However, the 41-year-old took his life on the dreadful morning of July 18, 2006 by jumping in front of a train in Chennai. In the suicide note, he wrote that he was vexed with his life as he had lost his wealth and was habituated to drinking and gambling. Veteran Malayalam actor Jayasurya shared the 'Best Actor' award for portraying him in 'Captain' as well as playing the lead role in the movie 'Njan Marykutty.'
Soubin Shahir was the other recipient of the 'Best Actor' award for illustrating Majeed, a young unmarried manager who recruits the three Nigerian players, in the movie 'Sudani from Nigeria.' The film also won the award in the 'Best Popular Film', 'Best Debut Director', 'Best Character Actress', and the 'Best Script' category.Published 27 Feb 2019, 19:24 IST