LAHORE – Former hockey Olympian and member of the 1994 World Cup winning team Naveed Alam was laid to rest in his native town graveyard in Sheikhupura on Tuesday night.
The 47-year-old former stalwart of hockey, who was a skilful master of the game, lost his battle with blood cancer on Tuesday morning at Shaukat Khanam hospital. Naveed, who served the game in different roles with pride, distinction and commitment, was diagnosed with blood cancer earlier this month. The youngest member of 1994 victorious World Cup team underwent chemotherapy at Shaukat Khanum Hospital on Monday night and was shifted to intensive care unit after his health deteriorated.
Naveed, a former agile full back and a recipient of ‘pride of performance’ was also a former head coach of national hockey team and director development, Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), besides being the founder of his hockey academy in his native town. Apart from being a former national head coach, Naveed Alam also imparted finer points of the game to the national teams of China and Bangladesh in the role of a coach.
Naveed was a diehard lover of the game and his services for the cause of hockey will always be remembered in country’s hockey history books. He had also the distinction of representing the team on 1996 Olympic. His funeral prayers offered at company Bagh Sheikhupura were attended by his family members, relatives, friends and a number of former Olympians including PHF Secretary Asif Bajwa, Manzoor Jr, Khawaja M Junaid, Danish Kaleem and a number of international players, officials of PHF and people belonging to different walks of life. Both the Punjab and Sindh Governments have taken the responsibility of bearing the expenses of his cancer treatment.
Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC), Dr Fehmida Mirza, Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Pakistan Olympic Association (POA), Pakistani cricket commentator Ramiz Raja, DG Pakistan Sports Board Col (r) Muhammad Asif Zaman, Punjab Sports Minister Rai Taimoor Bhatti, DG SBP Adnan Arshad Aulakh, Special Assistant to Sindh CM on Sports Bangul Khan Mahar and Secretary Sports and Youth Affairs Syed Imtiaz Ali Shah, Punjab Olympic Association, and the entire sports fraternity have expressed their deep grief over the sad demise of national hockey hero Naveed Alam and prayed for the bereaved family to bear this irreparable loss with fortitude.