Chennai, September 8, 2020: Chennaiyin FC today bid adieu to iconic striker and fan-favourite Jeje Lalpekhlua after six successful years. Jeje departs as a Chennaiyin legend and an adopted son of Chennai, having made 76 appearances in all competitions, the most by any CFC player till date.
Hailing from Hnahthial in Mizoram and fondly called the Mizo Sniper for his lethal instinct in front of goal, Jeje leaves as Chennaiyin’s leading goal-scorer in all competitions with 25 strikes to his name. Jeje led the line to great effect at CFC and was pivotal to the club’s Indian Super League title (ISL) triumphs in 2015 and 2017-18.
Jeje got off to an impressive start (4 goals & 1 assist) at the Marina Arena in his debut season for CFC, ending the inaugural ISL campaign as the tournament’s leading Indian goal-scorer. His stock only kept growing in the following season (6 goals & 3 assists) enroute Chennaiyin lifting their first ISL trophy in dramatic fashion. Deservedly so, Jeje received the 2015 ISL Emerging Player award in recognition of his talent and impact. His stellar showing for club and country also earned him the AIFF Player of the Year and Football Players’ Association of India (FPAI) Player of the Year awards for 2015-16, making it arguably the best year of Jeje’s professional career so far.
It only got better for the Mizo marksman in Chennaiyin blue, having his best season in front of goal in the 2017-18 ISL campaign (9 goals & 1 assist) as CFC became champions for a second time. And by this point, the Marina Arena crowd going into a frenzy on seeing Jeje’s sniper goal celebration had become a familiar sight.
Jeje has many more distinctions to his name from his half a dozen years at Chennaiyin. Along with being ISL’s top Indian goalscorer in the inaugural season, Jeje is also CFC’s top Indian goal-scorer and top goal-scorer in the two title-winning campaigns respectively. The experienced India international also netted Chennaiyin’s first goal in Asia, scoring in the 1-0 win over Colombo FC in the 2019 AFC Cup qualifying play-off. And until the 2018-19 season, the CFC No. 12 was the only player to score in all the editions of the ISL. Jeje now bids farewell to Chennaiyin as the club’s leading goal-scorer in the competition with 23 goals.
“Jeje will always be synonymous with Chennaiyin FC, having served the club and our ardent supporters in impeccable fashion over the years. He has been a faultless professional, a true role model and a beacon of inspiration in Indian football. And we are immensely grateful for his rich contribution to our club’s many successes on and off the field in the past six years. We wish him the very best for the future,” said the Chennaiyin FC co-owners in a joint statement.
Jeje Lalpekhlua’s legacy at Chennaiyin will always be remembered and cherished, his iconic sniper celebration and humble demeanour will be missed.
Thank you JJ12.