No future for Football in India


“I retired from Hindustan Aeronautics in Dec 2016. Sadly, I had not encouraged my son to play this wonderful game of football as I believe that there is no future for this game in India.”

Keshavalu was associated with this PSU for nearly 35 years. He got into playing football since 12 years of his age after watching the other players of HAL. In pursuit of his dreams, he joined an unregistered Club called Sujatha Club in 1975 which was started by Narayana Swamy an ex-footballer of Hindustan Aeronautics.

Narayana Swamy was a great motivator for him. He persuaded the father of Keshavalu (Deekaram) to allow him to play football as he believed that there is a great future for him in football.

 Muslim Heroes

In 1976, he joined Muslim Heroes, a Bangalore-based registered football club where he played till 1978. He was paid only Rs. 2 at that time as conveyance allowance to commute for playing.


May 17, 1976- Muslim Heroes knocked out an overconfident Hindustan Aircraft Seniors out of the Puttaiah Memorial Football Tournament, scoring twice. Playing a vital role in this surprise but yet a deserving victory for Muslim Heroes was the captain of the team, Hassan Shariff, who had only two chances and made no mistake with both. And he scored so confidently with placements and no waste of energy.

A minute had hardly ticked off after Aircraft scored when Muslim Heroes, living up to their name, produced the equaliser. It was from the kick-off. Hassan Shariff received a pass from Rafiq Ahmed and coolly placed the ball past goalkeeper Anthony. These two goals came after exactly an hour`s play had been gone through and with two minutes to go for the final whistle, Keshavalu, a pretty-to-watch ball player, passed to Hassan Shariff and he did the trick.

March 09, 1977- Muslim Heroes, the “C” Division League Champions, registered a 2-0 Victory over Binny Mills in the replayed first round match of the C.Prasanna Kumar Memorial Football Tournament. The chief architect of Muslim Heroes success was Keshavalu who netted both the goals of his side in the 2nd session of the play.

Karnataka State Football team

From October 1977 to February 1978, Keshavalu represented the Karnataka State Football team.

Oct 27, 1977- Karnataka made to the quarter-final berth in the XV National Junior Football Championship in Cuttack when they defeated Manipur 2-0 in a Group “C” league match. Karnataka played with better understanding and control and scored through left-stopper Keshavalu in the 16th minute and striker S Williams in the 34th minute.

Electronic Radar Development Establishment

From 1978 to 1981, Keshavalu got the opportunity to play for L.R.D.E (Electronic Radar Development Establishment) when their officials noticed his performance in Muslim Heroes and they signed him for the club for a salary of Rs.405 /- per month. As told by him, he considered L.R.D.E to be the best place for him to play and work. He would start the day by login at 7.00 am in the morning in the Division, from 7.00 am to 10.00 am, it was a gruesome practice session followed by the rest interval of 1 hour. From 11.00 am to 3.00 pm, he would report to work in the Machine Shop as a workman.

June 11, 1978- LRDE Score unimpressive 3-1 win over gallant Mandya Dt.XI in the first round of the Puttiah Memorial Football Tournament at the R.S.I Stadium before a moderate gathering.

L.R.D.E. despite their all-round superiority, failed to impress as a team. No doubt it was true that they seized the chances that knocked at their door early in the first half which in a large measure helped them to emerge winners. They shot themselves into the lead in the 11th minute when their dashing inside-right Keshavalu found the net with a fine left-footer after being well-placed by outside-left Vijayakumar find hardly two minutes later inside-left Durgachalam made the position absolutely safe for them with a stinging right-footer to the top of the box off a good pass from Keshavalu, Perhaps these two early goals proved too much for the visitors for however much they tried thereafter they could not improve matters.

In the second session, seven minutes before the close the Mandya forwards did reduce the margin through a gem of a goal by outside-right Venkata who beat Janardhan with a powerful right-footer from the top of the box. The work for this goal was done by Sridhar.

Heartened by this goal, the Mandya forwards pressed hard but it was their own citadel which fell two minutes before the close off when Keshavalu drove home a rebound from outside-left Kanakchandra when the goalkeeper Primdas had left his charge.

March 15, 1979- The LRDE Sports Club score a fluent 5-1 victory over Mysore Porcelains Ltd., in a first round match of the Stafford Challenge Cup Football Tournament at the Football Stadium. Thomas, Venugopal, Keshavalu and Shivashankar were the architect of the victory as Thomas scored twice. The only consolation for Mysore Porcelains came from Narayanaswamy.

March 26, 1981-The LRDE Sports Club beat the Tamil Nadu XI in their second round Cluster IV match of the Stafford Challenge Cup Football Tournament by one goal victory at Bangalore Football Stadium.

Two Tamil Nadu defenders Manivannan and Vijayakumar slipped while trying to intercept and the ball went to right-striker Keshavelu who beat goalkeeper Dhanraj with a good placement.

With this goal, Keshavalu made ample amends for an early miss. Put through by right-winger Andrew just two minutes before the break Keshavalu who was unmarked when he got the ball, moved up only to hit into the Tamil Nadu goalkeeper from handshaking distance.

Hindustan Aircraft Sports Club

From 1981 to 1985, he joined the football club of Hindustan Aircraft and he was paid a salary of Rs.768 per month.

April 18, 1984- In the Stafford Challenge Cup Football Tournament HASC Qualified in the Cluster One final by a solitary goal against the Madras Engineer Group. Aircraft`s lone goal was not borne out of any constructive strategy. Left half Keshavalu crossed the ball from the left, towards the penalty spot and right half Jayaraj connected with his left foot, beating an outstretched Irudiyanathan of MEG at the left corner. So Sudden was the happening that MEG were caught totally off guard and their defence trap proved faulty.

From 1985, Keshavalu decided to relieve himself from playing and devoted his professional life to the service of HAL. He took the role of finance personal in the payroll department doing manual entries and maintaining files useful for the department. Even, in that role he delivered as per the expectation of the company.

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