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May 13, 2021

Mansoor’s name will be there in golden words: Tahir Zaman

 
May 13, 2021

ISLAMABAD: As three years have passed since the country has lost one of the greatest hockey players Mansoor Ahmad, his former colleague Tahir Zaman remembers him, rating him as the most dedicated player and coach he has come across.

Talking to ‘The News’, 1994 World Cup and Champions Trophy winning team vice-captain and right-in Tahir Zaman said his contributions to Pakistan success story in 1994 will be remembered forever.

“We have started our hockey career together with the junior team and kept on representing the country for almost 12 years. During all these years I found Mansoor one of the most energetic and dedicated players. He was a true professional whose only objective was to achieve the best in his profession.”

Tahir said when it was left to penalty strokes to decide the fate of the 1994 Hockey World Cup in Sydney, following no-decision in scheduled and extra time, Mansoor was confident that he would take Pakistan home. “I remember Mansoor saying that World Cup was ours even before penalty strokes. He was so confident and had got faith in his abilities that he was sure of taking Pakistan home. That was exactly what happened as he blocked Dutch defender Delmee’s last push on his right upper corner to win the World Cup for the country. He did the same in the semis and was outstanding also during the Champions Trophy held in Lahore the same year,” Tahir said.

In his life other than hockey, Mansoor had gone through terrible times. May it be the legal battle against Pakistan Customs or problem in matrimonial life, Mansoor faced multiple challenges which ultimately took its toll as he could not survive due to growing cardiac problems.

“He was a true athlete and even could not refrain himself from tough exercises and fulfilling demands of professional coaching even after going through the heart surgery procedures. He was so passionate that when he was appointed goalkeeping coach, he started putting extra pressure on his health in an effort to get the best and set an example for camp trainees. That turned out to be a life-threatening blow for him.”

Tahir Zaman said that the services he had rendered for the country would be remembered forever. “Pakistan hockey will not forget Mansoor Ahmad. His services will be remembered forever. His contributions in winning the last two majors for the country are second to none.”

Though nothing had come out of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) on greatMansoor’s death anniversary on May 12, Tahir Zaman suggested that a Stadium or a leading Hockey ground should be named after them. “Only those hockey nations can prosper on the field who remember their hockey legends. When we turn pages of Pakistan hockey history, Mansoor’s name is there in gold words. We must name leading ground or hockey stadium after him.”