KARACHI: Celebrated Olympian goal-keeper and 1994 Sydney Hockey World Cup hero Mansoor Ahmed, who was suffering from heart ailment for quite sometime, left for his eternal abode following heart failure at the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) on Saturday afternoon. He was 50.
The deceased is survived by his mother, two brothers Sohail (US), Masroor (Canada) and a married sister. His father, who worked in the PAF, had died long ago. He spent his childhood at the PAF Base Mauripur.
Mansoor’s mother, who arrived from abroad after listening about his son’s deteriorating health, was in the city at the time of his death while his other brothers had recently gone back.
His funeral prayer was offered at Sultan Masjid, Defence, on Sunday and laid to rest at DHA Phase One graveyard. Anwar Zuberi writes for Dawn that Mansoor, who played 338 international matches during his illustrious career spread over 12 years – 1985-1997 – was in the news for the last many months due to his illnesss as his condition deteriorated with every passing day.
Doctors implanted seven stents and a pacemaker in his heart sometime back to keep it functioning. The former goal-keeper wanted to undergo heart transplantation in Mumbai and had appealed to the prime minister from hospital bed but unfortunately his wish remained unfulfilled. Mansoor’s family was supposed to approach Indian Embassy in Islamabad on Monday for visa as eminent cardiologist Dr Balakrishan had sent a letter in this regard, sources told Dawn. Shahid Afridi Foundation, a welfare project run by renowned ex-all rounder Shahid Afridi, had also come forward to lend support to Mansoor. The sources added that deputy secretary of the Sindh Governor’s House, Syed Salahuddin, also helped the former custodian in the past few weeks.
The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) had also doled out some financial assistance in meeting the private hospital’s bill besides his employers Pakistan Customs also footing some bills. Mansoor was a product of Karachi YMCA which had the distinction of giving four top class goal-keepers to Pakistan hockey – the other three being Shahid Ali Khan, Ahmed Alam and Ejaz Khokhar besides others. All the four keepers were the pupil of the honorary hockey coach Shabih Abbas, whose devotion was the hall mark and bore fruitful results.
Mansoor, who was Superintendent in Customs Preventive, came to fore when he donned Pakistan junior colour in the Vancouver Junior World Cup in 1985. Earlier, he toured China with the Pakistan youth hockey team in 1983.