Legendary hockey player, Mohammed Shahid passed away today at the Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon at the age of 56. He was suffering from a severe liver condition and kidney failure, and had slipped into coma on Tuesday.
Shahid's death is undoubtedly a grave loss to the country and to India's sporting community. But at a time when sports in India has become synonymous with cricket, Shahid suffered a worse fate -- that of anonymity. Today, not many of us are aware of his contributions to the game of hockey.
For the uninitiated, here is a glimpse at what made Mohammed Shahid one of the greatest names in Indian hockey:
1. Mohammed Shahid first played for India in 1979 at the Junior World Cup in France at the age of 19.
2. He moved to the senior team the same year and participated in the four-nation tournament in Malaysia.
3. Shahid was known for his signature style that involved fast footwork combined with his ability to dribble the ball.
4. Mohammed Shahid was a member of the team that won the Gold Medal at the Moscow Summer Olympics in 1980, Silver Medal at the New Delhi Asian Games in 1982 and the Bronze Medal at the Seoul Asian Games held in 1986. These achievements ensured that hockey retained its popularity in the midst of the cricket craze.
5. He served as the captain of the Indian Hockey team from 1985 to 1986.
6. Mohammed Shahid became a member of the Asian All-Star team in 1986.
7. He was awarded the Arjuna Award in 1981 and the Padma Shri in 1986.
8. After retiring from hockey, Shahid joined the Indian Railways in Varanasi.