Pakistan’s World Cup-winning hockey goalkeeper Mansoor Ahmed passed away at a hospital in Karachi on Saturday.
The 49-year-old had been suffering for weeks from complications stemming from a pacemaker and stents implanted in his heart, and had reached out to India for help in securing a heart transplant.
The government of Pakistan had reportedly offered Ahmed a mechanical heart transplantation which, had he accepted, would have been the first time the procedure was to be conducted in Pakistan.
However, the hockey legend had wanted a more conventional and proven procedure, for which he had wanted to go to India and had thus refused the offer.
Ahmed has been a sporting icon in Pakistan since helping the country win the 1994 World Cup in Sydney with his penalty stroke save against the Netherlands in the final.
He played 338 international matches and also participated in three Olympics and various other high-profile events in a career spanning from 1986 to 2000.
In addition to being named the world’s best goalkeeper on four occasions, Ahmed was bestowed with a presidential award in 1988 and the Pride of Performance in 1994.