Mohammed Shahid: The Hockey Wizard

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Former India Hockey captain, Mohammed Shahid was a part of the post 1964 Olympic Gold Medal winning field hockey team along with Bhaskaran, Dung Dung, Merwyn Fernandes and Zafar Iqbal, M K Kaushik and others. India was thrilled that day. It started the revival of Hockey in the country. Mohammed Shahid, one of the greatest names in Indian hockey and part of the team that won gold at the 1980 Moscow Olympics passed away few days back owing to a severe liver condition and kidney failure. Shahid was 56. He is survived by his wife Parveen Shahid and twin children Mohammad Saif and Heena Shahid. His abilities as a forward during the 1980s marked him out as an exceptional talent.

Mohammed Shahid was a gallant forwarder. He was one of the most dexterous players who had the ability to move past any defence, with his outstanding dribbling skills. He was born on 14th April 1960 at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. Shahid played for the Junior Indian Hockey team when he was 19. He participated at the Junior World Cup held in France. Soon he managed to secure a position in the Indian Senior National Hockey team and played at the Champions Trophy Tournament, Karachi and International Hockey Tournament, Kuala Lumpur, in the year 1980. He was declared as the Best Forward of the Tournament at Karachi. Shahid also represented the country in 1982 and 1986 Asian Games.

Mohammed Shahid made his international debut for India with the Junior World Cup in the year 1979. And right away he made a mark for his fantabulous dribbling and ball-control skills. His biggest contribution to the game of field hockey was the ‘half push- half hit’- a stroke he used to hit the ball using the same grip used to dribble the ball. For his outstanding accomplishments, the Indian Government bestowed the highest and prestigious award in sports, Arjuna Award for the year of 1980-1981. After retiring from hockey, Shahid had worked with the Indian railways and was based in his hometown of Varanasi.

Moreover he has also received the highest civilian award, The Padma Shri Award, in the year 1986. His loss before Rio Olympics is irreparable one and the hockey lovers will be at loss with his deft dribbling abilities and swift passes gave him the title hockey wizard.  He died at a very young age and that is a loss for Indian hockey in general and World Hockey in particular.

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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