Pak hockey legend Atif passes away

December 8th, 2008 - 6:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Dec 8 (IANS) Pakistan’s hockey legend M. H. Atif - a member of the team that won the country’s first Olympic gold in Rome in 1960 - passed away in Lahore Monday.The former Olympian died of cancer, according to his family members.

He was hospitalised ten days back but his condition aggravated and he breathed his last Monday morning. Atif played as a left full-back for a very long time. He was a towering figure and had a long reach. He marshalled Pakistan’s defence between 1952-64.

He was a member of Pakistan Olympic squad in 1956, 1960 and 1964.

After hanging up his boots, Atif took up a highly successful career as a hockey administrator. He served the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) as secretary and also held important positions at the International Hockey Federation (FIH) and the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF).

Atif was involved with the game till weeks before his death. He served the current PHF regime as an advisor.

Condolence messages poured in from various quarters with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani expressing sorrow over the demise of one of the country’s most accomplished sporting personalities.

PHF president Qasim Zia, also a former Olympian, said in his condolence message that Pakistan hockey will miss Atif for a long time to come.

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