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Monday, November 27, 2023

Remembering hockey king Mansoor Ahmed

Beenish Saleem |

The legendary hockey player of Pakistan Mansoor Ahmed passed away due to a heart failure on Saturday, 12 may 2018. The legendary goalkeeper known as the hero of 1994 Hockey World Cup was 49 years old.

Endless Achievements

Ahmed played as a goalkeeper and the captain for Pakistan National Hockey team. He played 338 International matches and won three Olympics golds and won a bronze in the 1992 Olympic. Ahmed played three consecutive World Cups and won the 1994 World Cup Hockey Championship (World Cup). Mansoor held a Silver medal in 1990 world Cup Hockey Championship. He played ten Champions Trophies and gold medal in 1994.

He played three Asian Games and won gold in 1990 Beijing, China. In his career, he earned a total of 12 gold, 12 silver and 8 bronze medals in international hockey tournaments. He was declared All Asian Stars Hockey Team member in 1996 and World Eleven Hockey team member in 1994.

His glories made him rise above the sky by becoming the World’s best goalkeeper as declared by F.I.H in 1994. Mansoor stood 4 times as the best goalkeeper of the tournament in his hockey career. He was also the flag carrier of the Pakistani Contingent in 1996 Atlanta Olympics in Atlanta, US.

In his outstanding performance in the field of hockey Government of Pakistan awarded him the President Award in 1988. He was also awarded Pride of Performance, (Highest Civil Award) in 1994.

Mansoor was involved in hockey as a coach. He was the National hockey coach of Pakistan junior hockey team in 2000 and was appointed as specialist goalkeeper coach of Bangladesh national hockey team in 2014.

Read more: Of thumping wins and ignominious defeats: Pakistan’s dysfunctional sports governance

Besides being a great hockey player, Mansoor Ahmad was a social activist and worked as an ambassador with different organizations such as “Right to Play” and “Athlete Ambassador”. He was also announced as the ambassador for No Smoking Campaign by Government of Pakistan. He was announced as a speaker for FIFA World Cup 2022, Qatar. He was also invited as a guest for Special Olympics, Los Angeles, US in 2015.


Ahmed was suffering from a cardiac disease and required an urgent heart surgery. He had applied for Indian Visa and was waiting for the approval.


On 22 April 2018 Mansoor Ahmed revealed that he needs a heart replacement and has requested the government of India for a medical visa.

In a video plea, he said, “Now I need a heart transplant, and for that I need support from the Indian government. I may have broken a lot of Indian hearts on the field of play by beating India in the Indira Gandhi Cup (1989) and in other events but that was sport. Now I need a heart transplant in India and for that I need support from the Indian government he said, 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”

He also added by saying “We’ve sent them my reports and India is the better option given their low costs and high success rates,” Ahmed said. Mansoor has been a heart patient for almost a decade and doctors recommended a transplant for the 49-year-old.

“I am looking to India for help, but please remember, I’m not seeking any financial aid or asking for money. India has a robust and efficient Indian medical system and I’m only appealing for them to grant me the visa when the need arises.”

The government of Pakistan ensured a treatment for Mansoor within Pakistan, however, Mansoor had reservations since the surgery was new in Pakistan and had not been performed before on anyone. Mansoor Ahmed’s sad demise points out our Government’s neglect towards the sport industry in Pakistan.

Our government has repeatedly failed to provide financial, moral and health facilities to the country’s sport legends. Unfortunately, those legends who are an important pillar in image building of our nation internationally, those who are the peace and harmony ambassadors of our country are left for dying without recognizing their efforts. There is no medical facilitation for them, no funds, no perks and no pensions. We are living in a society where politicians, who are actually the slaves of the country in the real essence of democracy, are living like wealthy monarchs.

Beenish Saleem is an educationalist and an activist for education. The views expressed in this article are authors own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.