Little Stars | After 'zero-angle' goal, 'Lionel' Dani helps Kerala dribble past COVID-19

After 'zero-angle' goal, 'Lionel' Dani helps Kerala dribble past COVID-19
Kozhikode District Collector Sambasiva Rao (R) receiving the cheque of Rs 31,500 from PK Danish.
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Two months have passed since his stunning 'zero-angle' goal, but the Internet has not forgotten young football star PK Danish. If it was his football skills that rocketed him to instant stardom earlier, it is his compassionate heart that saw the 10-year-old hit the headlines again.

Danish, who goes by the nickname 'Lionel' Dani, has donated all the cash rewards he received for his feats on the football ground to Chief Minister's Disaster Relief Fund (CMDRF) to help aid the fight against COVID-19.

"I had planned to build a turf with my uncle with that money, but then coronavirus happened. I wanted to help. I donated what I had to the Chief Minister's Relief Fund to defeat coronavirus," Danish said.

A cheque of Rs 31,500 was received by Kozhikode District Collector Sambasiva Rao.

Danish had also contributed all the money in his piggy bank to relief efforts after the floods as well.

Doing the impossible

Even though sports activities are banned in the state following the coronavirus outbreak, the football ground at Meenangadi grama panchayat still reverberates with that roar of several kids as young Dani scored the almost-impossible goal two months ago.

It is hard enough to score a goal, harder still to score from a corner kick. At that angle, one has to be extremely precise with the kick to get the ball to swerve and dip and out of the hands of the goalkeeper. Most get it wrong, but not young Dani.

Dani single-handedly led his team to victory in that tournament and clinch the cup.

He has since then scored a second corner goal to the delight of many.

Danish started playing football at age five and now trains under Niyaz Rahman and Prasad V Haridas at KFTC coaching centre, which functions from Olympian Rahman Ground in Medical College. He has taken part in various tournaments in five districts of Kerala.

Dani in films

Danish has also acted in a film with noted footballer IM Vijayan titled ‘Aanaparambile World Cup’ which deals with the life of a seven-year-old boy who dreams of  Argentine football star Messi. The film was scheduled to be released in May but has been postponed following the COVID-19 lockdown.

Danish is the son of Hashim, a photographer with Malayala Manorama in Kozhikode, and Novia. He has a sister Aisha. They live at Chevayur in Kozhikode.

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