For the hardcore supporters of Kerala Blasters, Canadian striker Iain Hume was just another foreign player picked up by David James and his team during the foreign player draft in 2014.
Indian Super League was a mystery to Kerala, a state that was craving for a football club since the dissolution of Viva Kerala in 2012. Amidst the entertainment and glamour, the launch of Kerala Blasters brought out the sportive emotions of the people in Kerala. And as every Malayali knows, they love their superstars.
Blasters quickly became the most followed and supported football club in the league and the attendance figures for home matches in Kochi sky-rocketed. And the popularity of ISL and Kerala Blasters also brought into the limelight, the fearless footballer who goes by the name 'Humettan'.
'Humettan' is Keralites' way of addressing a person as a brother - such was Iain Hume's impact in the yellow kit. By the end of his first season at Kerala Blasters, he was not a random foreigner in the group any more. While all the limelight was initially on the signing of Michael Chopra from the player draft, Hume quickly turned it around within a few months. He was the club's top scorer and was voted the best player of the inaugural season of ISL but the Canadian had only just begun his chapter in India.
The stadium began chanting in support of Kerala's beloved 'Humettan' whenever he received the ball during games. He was adored on and off the field.
Hume's instant impact in India did not go unnoticed and was showered with offers at the end of the first season of ISL, most notably from Kolkata-based ATK. He switched allegiance but was never forgotten in Kerala.
ATK provided a veteran Hume with a platform to impress even further. He racked up a phenomenal 18 goals from 30 matches in his two seasons at ATK which culminated in a league title victory. He helped ATK beat his former club Blasters in a penalty shootout in the final in 2016.
Much to Manjappada's delight, Hume returned to Kerala Blasters in the summer of 2017. Unfortunately for the striker, injuries would soon be the villain in what ultimately ended up as a disappointing season both for the player, club and the supporters.
The man who introduced Hume to Kerala was back at the helm at Blasters mid-way through the season in order to steady a rapidly sinking ship. Hume thrived under James once again, notably scoring a hat-trick against Delhi Dynamos at their own turf during the second-half of the 2017-18 season. But persistent issues with his knee forced Hume to sit and watch the team from the sidelines, thereby bringing a frustrating season to an end. Quite evidently, Hume's second stint at Kerala Blasters did not go as planned.
Despite a disappointing end to the season, Iain Hume still ended up as the top scorer of Kerala Blasters with five goals from 13 games. Despite spending two seasons away from Kerala Blasters, Hume remains the all-time top scorer of Kerala Blasters. He is also the top goalscorer in the Indian Super League with 28 goals from 59 matches.
Records are meant to be broken but Hume has left a lasting legacy at Kerala Blasters. To Manjappada, he is the ageless wonder who came as an unknown and left as a legend.
Sorry for the silence, As I’m sure everyone has already heard, I unfortunately won’t be returning to @keralablasters for ISL 5. Although it was always my (and I thought the clubs as well) aim to return and put a few things right when I’m back from my injury, that has somehow changed & the club have decided they wanted to go down a different route. Unfortunately that’s football, and it can be extremely cruel at times. But as always, I wish everyone involved with the club, all the very best in the future. The fans are by far the most passionate I’ve ever played for and deserve every success! I just wish I was a part of it moving forward. But like I said, this is football and we continue to move forward, regardless the circumstances. I just want to thank you all for your incredible support since I first joined in ISL 1 until now. You guys are truly special, and I will be forever grateful! Contrary to some beliefs, I haven’t agreed to join another team. My main aim right now is to look after myself and stick to the plan to make sure that when I do join a club, I’m 100% fit and ready to hit the ground running! Thanks to all of the KBFC Medical Staff, Saurabh, Dr. Manoj, Meldrick and of course the Fitness Coach Dave Richardson for their incredible support and work they’ve put in, to get me to where I am, well ahead of schedule! Top guys and friends for life! Always supporting and watching out, Forever Yellow! Humey 🤕💛 #SeeYouAllSoon #StrongerThanEver #WithAPointToProve 💪🏼