Rich tributes pour in for Hockey legend Mohammed Shahid

New Delhi: Tributes have flooded in for legendary Indian hockey player Mohammed Shahid, who passed away at the age of 56 after battling severe liver and kidney ailments.

From sportspersons to politicians, several took to micro-blogging site Twitter to pay rich tributes to one of India’s greatest hockey players.

“In Mohammad Shahid, we have lost one of the legends of world hockey. Condolences to his family,” said former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag.

“Being a Punjabi, hockey is in my blood. Sad to hear about passing away of legendary #MohammedShahid. Best dribbler in his time by a mile RIP,” Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan wrote on his Twitter handle.

Hockey India also expressed its grief over the untimely loss of the legendary player, who is known for his incredible dribbling skills.

Shahid, a member of the Indian team that won a gold medal at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, had been admitted to the Medanta Hospital, Gurgaon after being airlifted from Varanasi due to worsening health condition in the last week of June.

The hockey legend’s health condition had deteriorated further as he slipped into coma late Tuesday night and was put on the ventilator as a last ditch effort.

Ashok Kumar, son of hockey legend Dhyan Chand, told ANI that the demise of Shahid has left a big void in the Indian hockey that cannot be filled.

“There cannot be another Shahid and neither his skills can be replicated. We are saddened by his loss. One of the world’s best left handers has passed away,” he poignantly remarked.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also joined sporting fraternity in grieving Shahid’s demise. He said, “In the untimely & unfortunate demise of Mohammed Shahid, India has lost a talented sportsman who played with immense passion & vigour.”

“We tried our level best to save Mohammed Shahid but sadly, neither our help nor prayers were enough to save him. Tributes to him. RIP.”

He was also a part of the national team that won silver in the Delhi Asiad in 1982, and bronze in Seoul four years later.

Shahid was conferred the Arjuna Award in 1981 and the Padma Shri in 1986.

Last month, the Sports Ministry had announced a medical grant of Rs 10 lakh for him and the Indian Railways, his employers, had also declared that they would pay for his medical expenses. (ANI)