Meet Faisal, the travelling fan of Kerala Blasters
Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) club Kerala Blasters FC became world-famous with their Manjappada or the Yellow Army, the twelfth pillar of the Blasters. They were strengthened by a group of ordinary people who love Kerala and football. Faisal, from Tirur in Malappuram district, is one among them.
He is a member of the Manjappada Malappuram Wing and has been visiting all the stadiums in India for the last three seasons to watch all the matches of his favourite team. Not only in the Hero ISL, but Faisal has also travelled for the Hero Super Cup and other tournaments in which the Kochi-based club participated. Hence, he is now known as the ‘Travelling Fan of Kerala Blasters’.
Faisal credits his father for his undying love of football. He used to play the beautiful game when in school and has played football up to the district level. He still remembers going to the countryside Sevens fairs and Nagoji tournaments holding his father's hand.
The Malappuram native is a businessman whose wife Riya, children Pila, Aishal and Rifas have always supported him. Not only do they support his desire, but also love the Kochi-based club as much as Faisal. They travel with him to the stadium and share their excitement of football with him. Their love and dedication towards the beautiful game know no bounds.
For the first three seasons, he only travelled to the away stadiums in Bengaluru, Goa and Chennai. From the fourth season onwards, wherever the Blasters went, Faisal would be present. Prior to his travels, Faisal makes his own fixture list once the Hero ISL schedule is released. Most of his away trips are on his own. His desire is to follow and support the Blasters through their successes and failures. But sometimes when the situation permits, he takes his family along for the ride.
Faisal was among the yellow sea when the Blasters officially hit the ball on the field at the Jawaharlal Stadium in Kochi on October 13, 2014, and he continued following the Blasters until travel restrictions and security issues arose due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Faisal expressed his grief at not being able to watch the Hero ISL matches this season due to the pandemic.