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Michael Chopra

MICHAEL CHOPRA ANNOUNCED AS NEW CLUB AMBASSADOR

The star striker who previously played for Watford, Nottingham Forest and Sunderland was welcomed to the club by Southall MP Virendra Sharma.

Football star Michael Chopra has been announced as the new Southall FC brand Ambassador.

The star striker was welcomed to the club by Southall MP Virendra Sharma, local dignitaries and members of the public on May 18.

Michael Chopra, also known as Rocky, is an English professional footballer who plays as a striker for Scottish Championship club Alloa Athletic.

He is also the first player with Indian parentage to play and score in the Premier League.

In 2006, he scored what was then the fastest goal by a substitute in Premier League history, scoring after being on the pitch for 15 seconds.

Chopra has spent time on loan at Watford, Nottingham Forest, and Barnsley. He was then sold to Cardiff City in June 2006, and won a place on the PFA Team of the Year for his performances in the 2006–07 season.

He then moved to Premier League side Sunderland in July 2007, before returning to Cardiff on a loan deal that was made permanent in July 2009.

He was once again named on the PFA Team of the Year for the 2009–10 campaign, before being sold on to Ipswich Town in June 2011.

He joined Blackpool on a free transfer in July 2013, before moving to the Indian Super League with Kerala Blasters for the inaugural 2014 season.

In March, Chopra was signed for Alloa Athletic.

Southall FC first team manager Mr Emanuel Asare said: “It is inspirational to think that such a high-profile personality wants to give something back and wants to assist in the club’s aims of unearthing, nurturing and inspiring young local talent.”

Mr Chopra said: “I truly support the efforts being made by Southall FC to not just develop the sport at the grass root level, but also their vision to encourage children from different ethnic backgrounds to get involved with football. I am also looking forward to working with Southall FC in promoting the sport in India.”

Chopra has recently returned from India after being made part of the first draft of players to participate in the new Indian Soccer league.

He now plans to renounce his British Citizenship to apply for an Indian passport in order to play for India in the World Cup qualifying campaign.

He said: “The sport of football has huge potential in India. It is one of the fastest growing sports there and with the launch of the Soccer League and the high-profile support it has gathered, the fan base following is bound to increase. Also, I wish to start my own coaching academies in India to identify players and be a leading academy that acts as a feeder to the soccer league.”

Chana Gill, director of Southall FC, said: “It is a privilege to have a player of Michael Chopra’s calibre on-board as the ambassador for Southall FC. He epitomises our vision for our young players.

“It confirms our beliefs that if given the right support and coaching environment, children from any ethnic background can be a part of and contribute to this sport at its highest level of performance.”

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