Hockey legend Rasheed Junior laid to rest
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Former hockey captain Olympian Adul Rasheed was laid to rest in his ancestral village Ghoreewala after his funeral prayers were held in Bannu on Wednesday.
Pakistan hockey’s icon, former captain Olympian Adul Rasheed Junior died in Islamabad after a brief illness.
Former Olympian Rasheed, one of the finest centre forward the Pakistan hockey has ever produced, was a gift gifted spearhead who had many records to his name in those days when Pakistan team was a force to reckon with at international level due to possession of all major international hockey titles.
Late 79-year-old Rasheed represented the country in three Olympics. He was part of 1968 Olympic gold medal winning team, 1972 silver medal team and 1976 Olympic bronze medal team.
The humble and down to earth Rasheed had the unique distinction of being the top scorer of 1968 and 1972 Olympics. He also represented the country in 1971 World Cup. At the time of his retirement from international hockey, he emerged as Pakistan highest goal scorer at international level with a tall of 96 goals. He will be buried in home town Bannu.
Abdul Rasheed junior was Bannu’s second son to attain legendary status, the first being his elder brother Abdul Hameed famously known as Brigadier Hameedi.
Originally a right-in like his illustrious brother, he was converted into an opportunistic centre-forward by Brigadier M.H. Atif. He turned out to be a predator availing even half chances. In his first big tournament, the 1968 Olympics, he was joint top-scorer of the gold medal winning team. Rasheed Jr was again Pakistan’s top-scorer at the 1972 Olympics.
In between, he also earned a World Cup winners medal in its inaugural edition of 1971. Rasheed ended his career emulating his brother by captaining Pakistan at the Olympics (Montreal, 1976).
His tally of Olympic goals is just one short of Hameedi’s 16 goals. He enjoys a unique distinction in Pakistan sports history to be the only sportsman to have a complete set of Olympic medals: Gold (1968), Silver (1972) and Bronze (1976). When he called it a day, Rasheed Jr’s tally of 96 international goals was a Pakistan record at the time.
Like Hameedi, Rasheed also had a managerial spell. And he achieved one distinction that even eluded Hameedi — managing Pakistan to a global title, World Cup 1994. He was also the manager of the 1994 victorious Champions Trophy team.
President, Pakistan Hockey Federation, Brig retd Khalid Sajjad Khokhar, Secretary, Muhammad Asif Bajwa and the entire hockey family of the country have condoled the death of the former Olympian.
They showered praise on the outstanding services rendered by late Rasheed for the cause of hockey and said he will always be remembered in Pakistan hockey book for his illustrious career.
“He served the game in many roles, as a player, a coach, manager and selector and a hockey icon who was an inspiration for the hockey players,” they said.
They expressed their heartfelt sympathies with the members of the bereaved family and prayed to Allah Almighty that the departed soul may rest in eternal peace and grant courage to the bereaved family members to bear this loss with fortitude.
CM Buzdar condoles Rasheed Jr’s death
Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar expressed a deep sense of sorrow over the death of hockey Olympian Abdul Rasheed Junior and extended sympathies to the bereaved heirs.
In a condolence message, the CM paid tributes to the services of Abdul Rasheed Junior in the field of hockey and said late Olympian brought laurels home with his excellent play.
“May Allah rest his soul in eternal peace,” the CM added.