(Last Updated on : 29-11-2012)
Inivalappil Mani Vijayan was born on April 25, 1969, in Thrissur
. He was one of the most versatile strikers of Indian football. In his early life he was selling soda bottles on streets of Thrissur District
. Later he earned his name in Indian football. I. M. Vijayan made his football debut on a competitive level for the Kerala Police at Quilon Nationals when he was 17 years old. Vijayan made an immediate impact despite his scrawny built and rugged looks. And he was successful in attracting attention of authorities of Indian Football clubs
across the country. After persisting with the Police for four years, Vijayan left Kerala seeking greener pastures of football clubs in Kolkata
. He went on to spend some fruitful years with city giants Mohun Bagan and East Bengal.
Career of I. M. Vijayan
Vijayan made his international debut in 1989 and spearheaded the Indian attack in various tournaments starting with the Nehru Cup
, pre-Olympics, pre-World Cup, SAAF Cup and SAF Games. He partnered with the mercurial Baichung Bhutia
upfront to form one of the most lethal Indian forward lines.
Vijayan was the first footballer from Kerala to win the Arjuna Award
and was adjudged the 'Best footballer of the year' in 1993, 97 and 99. In the 1999 SAF Games, Vijayan earned the unique distinction of scoring the fastest ever-international goal when he found the net just after 12 seconds against Bhutan. The last match, before his retirement, he signed off in style in the 2003 Afro-Asian games where he emerged the top scorer with four goals. The following is his senior career graph:
1987-1991 Kerala Police
1991-1992 Mohan Bagan A.C.
1992-1993 Kerala Police
1993-1994 Mohan Bagan A.C.
1994-1997 JCT Mills Phagwara
1997-1998 FC Kochin
1998-1999 Mohan Bagan A.C
1999-2001 FC Kochin
2001-2002 East Bengal Club
2002-2004 JCT Mills Phagwara
2004-2005 Churchill Brothers SC
2005-2006 East Bengal Club
National team 1989-2004 India
Achievements of I. M. Vijayan
After his retirement from international football, Vijayan is now busy with various projects related to the game. He had opened a football coaching institute in Thissur, named upon him as Football School.
He has also tried his hand in the field of music and films as well. He played a leading character in a film named "Shantam" (Peace), which went on to win the National Award for best film.
M. Vijayan happens to be the first player from Kerala to win an Arjuna Award and has achieved many laurels for himself. He has been honoured with the Best Footballer of the Year in 1993, 1997 and 1999.
He has and is currently working on many Malayalam Cinema
as well. He acted in some Tamil Cinema
also. Thimiru is the film where he acted. He is also the member of Democratic Indira Congress (Karunakaran.).