Thiruvalla 19th, Dec 2015: Mr P O John who was more endearingly called Mr Johny by his peers and dears was a former basketball BFI Referee, Coach, Player, State Basketball Referees Board Secretary, Vice-President, Kerala Table Tennis Association and Head & Professor, Dept of Physical Education, Titus II Training College, Thiruvalla, succumbed to illness at his residence in Kizhakkanmuttor, Thiruvalla on Tuesday 16 December. His mortal remains will be laid to rest at Sehion Marthoma Church, Varikkat, Thiruvalla, on Saturday 19 December at 12 noon.
An apostle of basketball, Mr John popularized and promoted the game in and around Thiruvalla, starting from the grassroots level, by organizing a number of inter-collegiate tounaments. A referee of stature on par with the veterans like Mr C S Abraham, Mr Viswappan and Mr P K Chacko, he electrified the court with his quick and dazzlings moves to all the flash points on the court in every neck and neck fight. It was a sight to see him in action.
His organizational skill witnessed the conduct of a number of tournaments, including the prestigious Mar Thoma Trophy, that emptied the entire town and its neighborhood into the playgrounds. It is worth noting that as early as the 1970s he could organize the Senior State Basketball Championships in Thiruvalla on three Flood-light courts temporarily built for this purpose.
A man of parts, Mr John excelled in music to form a choral society christened as male voice and served as its President till recently. A founder-member of YMCA Thiruvalla, he served as its President, and Chairman for Sports and Games several terms. He was also the first President of Thiruvalla Sports Coaching Centre.
Mr PO John accompanied Kerala and Mahatma Gandhi University teams as Manager and Member of Selection Committee in various Intervarsity and National Championships. He is survived by his only son Dr Oommen John while his beloved wife, Rachel John, former Principal of Titus II Training College and daughter Sherin Ajith left him for their eternal reward a few years ago.