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India’s Hockey legend Mohammad Shahid breathed his last

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The 56-year-old, who was battling kidney and liver problems, breathed his last on July 20, 2016 at a Gurgaon hospital. He was part of the Vasudevan Baskaran-led Indian team that clinched the gold medal at the 1980 Moscow Olympics. India’s hockey legend Mohammad Shahid was one of the greatest players of all time, was known for his excellent dribbling skills. Shahid, who was born in Varanasi, made his first appearance for India in 1979 at the Junior World Cup in France. Hockey historian K Arumugam quoted The Indian Express, “India won all but one match to Pakistan during 1984 and 1985. The only time they lost was the Asia Cup final in Dhaka where five Indian players were suspended”. Shahid made his first senior team appearance the same year in a four-nation tournament in Kuala Lumpur under Baskaran, after his inclusion in the team following his impressive performance in the Aga Khan Cup. His skills and love for the game was noticed by his seniors and coaches. It was said that on the hockey field, if he was one of the most feared one, off it he was the most humble and down to earth person. During his playing days, besides his dribbling skills, Shahid was also known for his running ability and push which was as fast as a hard hit. His attacking partnership on the field with Zafar Iqbal was known to one and all. He was awarded the ‘Best Forward player’ at the 1980 Champions Trophy in Karachi. He was a member of the team that won the gold at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, silver at the 1982 Asian Games and bronze at the 1986 Asian Games. He was able to make place in the Asian All-Star team in 1986 through his practice and skills. He also captained the Indian national team during the 1985-86 season. He was also awarded the Arjuna Award in 1980-1981 and Padma Shri in 1986. Later on, he became a sports officer with the Indian Railways in Varanasi. He is survived by his wife Parveen Shahid and twins Mohammad Saif and Heena Shahid.

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