Pakistani hockey legend Mansoor Ahmed passes away at 49

World Cup-winning Hockey goalkeeper and Pakistan legend Mansoor Ahmed passed away in Karachi at the age of 49 after suffering from heart ailment for a long time. It is a great loss to the nation as he was not only a part of the 1994 World Cup winning team but was also a pivotal figure in the championships.

Having been admitted to the Hospital on Saturday morning, Ahmed was put into the ventilation. He could not overcome the hiccup and eventually lost life as only twenty percent of his heart was functioning during that time.

Complications cropping up from a from a pacemaker implanted in the heart was the root cause for his sufferings and he even asked for a help from India a few days ago to grant him a visa for the treatment. Reportedly, Pakistan Government had offered heart transplantation, but he did not accept the offer. If he had accepted the offer, it would have been the first time the procedure would have been conducted in Pakistan. He turned the offer as he wanted a more conventional and proven producer for which he wanted to set foot on Indian shores.

Also Read: Pakistan hockey goalie seeks India’s help in heart transplant

“Somewhere, deep down, I am certain that feeling still remains on both sides. Inshallah, India will not disappoint when I seek your country’s help,” said Ahmed to the media a few days ago. In a world of communal tensions prevailing between the two nations, he firmly believed that humanity reigns supreme over all other vices. “We’ve sent them my reports and India is the better option given their low costs and high success rates, he added.

The relation between India and Pakistan has been bitter in recent times but sports are an area which brings the two nations together. Although the two countries have abandoned travelling across borders for bi-lateral tours, they still play each other in International events in both Hockey and Cricket. “Humanity is paramount and I too would be obliged if I get a visa and other help in India,” said an emotional Mansoor Ahmed.

Having played 338 International matches for the Asian outfits, he inspired Pakistan to numerous trophies including the 1994 World Cup where he was referred to as the ‘hero’ of the tournament due to his brilliant display. The penalty saves in the final against the Netherlands in 1994, which is an iconic moment in the history of hockey in Pakistan. Apart from that, he has participated in three Olympics during his career span of 14 years from 1986 to 2000.

The 1994 World Cup win in Sydney was a record fourth title for Pakistan and the since then they have never managed to finish in the top four. It was a golden generation for the Men in Green which was accompanied by a custodian who took the art of his trade to unimaginable heights. Yes, I am talking about Mansoor Ahmed.  Hailing from Rawalpindi, he became a national icon following his heroics inside the rectangle.

The entire country was in a state of shock on hearing about the passing away of a man who brought laurels to the country during his prime. “It is very sad that he has passed away at such a young age. He was working with us and contributing to the development of goalkeepers and junior players,” said Shahbaz Ahmad, the secretary of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF).

This is a big loss for the whole hockey fraternity; Mansoor was named the world’s best goalkeeper on four occasions and was also awarded a presidential award in 1988 and the Pride of Performance in 1994. His place will never be replaced, as there will be only one Mansoor Ahmed!