Mehraj-ud-din Wadoo – a name that needs no introduction in Kashmir. Born & brought up in Amira Kadal Srinagar, Mehraj has been the face of football from the valley for the last two decades.
He started at the tender age of nine, playing day-long football under the watchful eye of his father, Mohammad Sultan Wadoo, who had represented J&K in the Santosh Trophy. Mehraj caught the attention of scouts whilst playing for Iqbal Sports football club, under coach Bashir Malik. He then got an opportunity at HAL Bangalore, and never looked back.
Mehraj’s versatility both as a defender, wing-back and central midfielder brought him plaudits from all over the footballing circles, and he was soon highly sought after among India’s top clubs.
With many quality displays playing for Sporting Club de Goa and then Mohun Bagan, Mehraj rose to prominence in the Indian football space and broke through the Indian national team. Mehraj is one of the few players in Kashmir’s history who enjoyed a consistent run playing for India.
In 2005 in the SAFF Cup final, he scored the winning goal for India. He holds the feat of being the only player from Kashmir to win 5 international gold medals, which is a remarkable achievement.
With such success came fame and stardom, and Mehraj was highly sought after. In 2011 he joined East Bengal, moving from arch rivals Mohun Bagan. Since then it has been a highly successful period for Mehraj.
Recently he featured for Chennayin FC in the Indian Super League, winning over many fans with his strong displays in defense.
Mehraj’s story is highly inspirational for the youth, and he has brought laurels to the state. He along with Ishfaq is the recipient of the prestigious Sher I Kashmir Award, for contribution to sports. From Kashmir to Chennai, Wadoo has come a long way. He has followed the relentless effort by becoming the center of attention in Football circles.
Currently, he is engaged in running a football academy for young kids in Kashmir at the TRC Astroturf ground, in collaboration with J&K Football Association and J&K State Sports Council.