(Last Updated on : 24-07-2014)
Jimmy George, the legendary Indian volleyball player, was born in born March 8, 1955, in Peravoor, Kerala
. He is regarded as one of the greatest volleyball player of all times. Jimmy George, the first Indian professional volleyball
player, is considered to be one of the ten best volleyball players of all times for his performance in club volleyball in Italy. On November 30, 1987, he died an early death in a car crash in Italy.
Early Life Of Jimmy George
Jimmy George was born in the renowned Kudakkachira family in Peravoor, in Kannur
district of Kerala
. He was born to George Joseph and Mary George. Jimmy George initially learned the primary lessons of volleyball from his father George Joseph. Jimmy had a great regard for his coach Kalavoor Gopinath. Jimmy George's maternal uncle, Prof. M.T. Emmanuel, had also been a great influence and a driving force to him. Primarily he played for St. Joseph's High School.
Career Of Jimmy George
In the year 1970, Jimmy George ascended as the wizard of volleyball, after he became the member of the Calicut University team. In the year 1973, he joined St. Thomas College in Palai, and became the captain of the University of Kerala
team. He has delineated University of Calicut
for three times and Kerala University, for four times. During his membership with the Kerala University team, he has won the All India Inter-University Championship in four consecutive years. At the age of 16, in the year 1971, he secured a permanent position in the Kerala State Team and played for the State for nine times. In the year 1976, to join the Kerala Police, Jimmy quit the Medical College and remained a member of the police team till his death.
In the 1974, Asian Games Jimmy George played for the Indian volleyball team in the Asian Games in Tehran (1974), in Bangkok (1978), and again in Seoul (1986) at the Asian Games, helping India to win the bronze medal. He has also played for India In 1985, in the test matches against the Japanese Team. In that year, Jimmy George was made the captain of Indian Team that played at Saudi Arabia. In India Gold Cup International Volleyball Tournament held at Hyderabad
in the year 1986, the Indian team led to victory under his captaincy. Jimmy aspired for An Asian medal for India, and his dream materialised in 1986 the Asian Games.
Awards and Honours of Jimmy George
Jimmy George received all of the major awards that any Indian sportsman could aspire for. Jimmy was honoured The Arjuna Award
at the age of 21. In the year 1975, he was given G.V. Raja Award and in the year 1976, he has won the Manorama Award for the best Sportsman of Kerala. While engaged with Abu Dhabi Sports Club during the year from 1979 to 1982, he was declared to be the best player in the Gulf Region. From 1982 to 84 and 85 to 87, he was actively employed with professional clubs in Italy and was regarded as one of the best attackers of the world.
In his memory, Jimmy's supporters and friends in Italy too have dedicated an indoor stadium at Montichiari, Brescia, and also formed an annual junior tournament in his memory. The Jimmy George Club at Peravoor is also devising tournaments and training camps. Since 1989, the Kerala Volleyball League of North America conducts the Jimmy George Super Trophy Volleyball Tournament.
Personal Life of Jimmy George
Jimmy's other interests arrayed from chess to swimming. Collecting stamps and coins were amongst his preferred hobbies. He also listened to music in his leisure and was interested in Para-psychology also. He always had a very bookish mind. In his sporting trips, he used to carry books and periodicals along with him.
Death of Jimmy George
Jimmy George died in a car accident on November 30, 1987, in Italy, at the age of 32. Two months after his death, his son Joseph George was born. Following his premature demise, Jimmy's dear ones have founded a trust known as Jimmy George Foundation. 'The best sports person of Kerala' award was instituted by the foundation in 1989. The award is extremely esteemed amongst the sports partisans of Kerala. The Government of Kerala has solemnly dedicated its Indoor Stadium at Trivandrum to the memory of Jimmy George. A volleyball stadium, at St. Thomas College, Pala, has also been dedicated to him. At Peravoor a stadium and a road have been named after Jimmy.
For sportsmen, he has been seen as a role model and as a superb sportsman and above a perfect gentleman. Jimmy George lives on as a legend in the hearts of his admirers.