Former Indian hockey player Manuel Fredericks, the lone Keralite to win an Olympic medal, has been nominated for the prestigious Dhyan Chand Award. Manuel was the goalkeeper of the Indian team which won bronze medal at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
The award carries a purse of Rs five lakh, citation and a memento. A 12-member jury nominated Manuel's name to the Sports Ministry for his lifetime achievements. The awards will be announced on August 29, National Sports Day.
The award marks the end of a long wait for the 71-year-old Manuel as eight members of the bronze-medal winning Olympic team were honoured with the Arjuna Award, while two received Padma Shri.
Manuel, who hails from Burnassery in Kannur, took to the game at the BEM UP School in his village at the age of 11. He joined the Indian Army later and the rest has been history.
Manuel guarded the Indian goal in two World Cups and was part of the team which won silver in the 1973 edition held in the Netherlands.
The Kerala government had recently built a home for Manuel taking into account his struggles.