Malappuram: Bibin Ajayan had to tackle many kicks of life and strike the forces that pulled him down to realise his dream of becoming a footballer. Bibin, who earned a place in the 20-member Kerala squad for the 75th National Football Championship for Santosh Trophy, was abandoned by his parents at the age of eight.
He was too young to even realise that he was orphaned. He grew up at Janaseva Sisubhavan, an orphanage in Aluva, and started playing football at a young age.
Although he did not get any formal training in the game, playing football with his friends at the institution's small ground helped him improve his general skills while also learning the nuances of playing the game. The call-up to the Kerala junior team was the turning point in his life and football career. That was when local clubs and football enthusiasts started taking note of his innate talent and capability on the pitch.
He went on to represent the Mahatma Gandhi University team at the inter-varsity championship while studying at Union Christian College, Aluva. His entry to the professional football arena was through the Ernakulam-based Golden Threads FC in the Kerala Premier League (KPL).
The Santosh Trophy call-up was a reward for his impressive performance in the backline of Golden Threads, the champions of the 2021-22 edition of the KPL.
The 24-year-old Bibin is still without a home and job. After leaving the orphanage, he used to stay at the college hostel. During tournaments, he would sleep at the club's office. Currently, he lives at the hostel run by Golden Threads FC.
Bibin is hopeful of doing well for Kerala at the Santosh Trophy. "If the team wins the title, I will be able to land a government job. I can think of getting married and having a family of my own if I get a permanent job," says Bibin.