|Bhaichung in Kalimpong on Sunday. (Chinlop Fudong Lepcha)
Kalimpong, Oct. 1: Bhaichung Bhutia has set his eyes on the Darjeeling hills for adding more members to the United Sikkim Football Club co-owned by him.
The former Indian soccer skipper was here last night to attend a dinner organised by the Rotary Club of Kalimpong.
The player used the occasion to highlight the soccer bond between the hills and the Himalayan state.
Bhaichung said United Sikkim was a club that the hill people could call their own and sought their support for scripting the team’s success story.
“We have started the club’s membership campaign. There are different categories of membership. We also have memberships for students,” he said.
The four categories of membership are, donor, platinum, gold and silver.
A donor card will give five years’ membership at Rs 50,000, platinum membership is for Rs 15,000 a year, gold is Rs 10,000 per year, and silver is Rs 5,000 per year.
All cardholders will get free entry to United Sikkim’s home matches in the I-League beginning on October 6.
The footballer said donor and platinum cardholders would be entitled to free snacks during matches and discounts at selected retail outlets selling different merchandise and at hotels. They can also send a child each to the club for free training on every Sunday.
Capt. Prakash Pradhan, the director of Rockvale Academy, was the first to take the membership of the club. He was presented with a club jersey by Bhaichung.
Around 500 fans from Sikkim have taken the membership forms and 70 have already applied.
“Within a year of forming the club, we were ranked among the top 10 teams in the country. I am very proud of that. Our aim is to win the I-League in the next five years,” said Bhutia.