Pakistan’s World Cup-winning hockey goalkeeper Mansoor Ahmed was laid to rest in Karachi on Sunday. The hockey legend’s funeral was attended by former Pakistan cricket captain Shahid Afridi, Muttahida Qoumi Movememt-Pakistan leader Amir Khan and hockey star Islahuddin. However, no government officials were in attendance.
“My heart is heavy with the loss of the hockey legend, however death is a reality we all have to face,” Shahid Afridi said while speaking to media. “No celebrities were in attendance today, however, had a legend like this passed away somewhere else in the world, the response would have been different,” the former cricketing star said.
“He was a legend and it is a shame that such a star was buried without any state honours,” MQM leader Amir Khan said while speaking to the media. The 49-year-old had been suffering for weeks from complications stemming from a pacemaker and stents implanted in his heart, and had reached out to India for help in securing a heart transplant. The government of Pakistan had reportedly offered Ahmed a mechanical heart transplantation which, had he accepted, would have been the first time the procedure was to be conducted in Pakistan.
However, the hockey legend had wanted a more conventional and proven procedure, for which he had wanted to go to India and had thus refused the offer. Ahmed has been a sporting icon in Pakistan since helping the country win the 1994 World Cup in Sydney with his penalty stroke save against the Netherlands in the final.
He played 338 international matches and also participated in three Olympics and various other high-profile events in a career spanning from 1986 to 2000. In addition to being named the world’s best goalkeeper on four occasions, Ahmed was bestowed with a presidential award in 1988 and the Pride of Performance in 1994.
Mansoor passed away in the afternoon due to heart complications, Dr Naveed Qamar said. Mansoor was advised by senior heart surgeons at the hospital to undergo an operation to have a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) implanted to help pump blood to his heart.
A renowned heart surgeon, Dr Komarakshi Balakrishnan at the Fortis Malar hospital in Chennai had looked at Mansoor’s case and assured him if he came to India he could do the heart transplant immediately.—INP