Pakistan hockey hero Mansoor dies from heart failure

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Pakistan’s World Cup-winning hockey hero Mansoor Ahmed died Saturday of heart failure aged 49 after battling the disease for years, his family said.

The goalkeeper had last month publicly appealed to New Delhi for a medical visa to allow him a heart transplant, but ultimately did not apply as he was too sick to travel, they said.

“Indian hospital Fortis had offered Mansoor free transplant but doctors in Karachi warned he would not be able to travel due to his deteriorating condition,” Haider Hussain, a family friend told AFP.

Ahmed had been suffering for weeks from complications stemming from a pacemaker and stents implanted in his heart.

The goalkeeper and former captain made his name in the 1994 World Cup final in Sydney with a penalty stroke save against the Netherlands for Pakistan to win 4-3 on penalties.

Mansoor represented Pakistan in 338 internationals from 1986 to 2000. He played in three Olympics, winning a bronze medal in 1992, and carried Pakistan’s flag at the 1996 Atlanta opening ceremony.

“Almighty Allah bless the departed soul with eternal peace and grant courage to the bereaved family to bear the loss,” Pakistan Hockey Federation president Khalid Sajjad Khokhar and secretary PHF Shahbaz Ahmed said in a joint statement.

Former Pakistan cricket captain Shahid Afridi, who visited Mansoor while he was ill, tweeted, “today the Nation mourns a true hero.”—AFP

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