Late hockey great Mohammed Shahid was a good ghazal singer, reveals former team-mate Jagbir Singh
Indian hockey will be definitely poorer with the demise of former hockey great and dribbling master Mohammed Shahid. A pall of gloom has descended on Indian hockey following the death of this stalwart, who was a member of the gold-winning 1980 Moscow Olympics team. Shahid entertained not just Indian hockey fans but people across the globe with his superb dribbling skills.
Shahid played in three Olympics – 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and 1988 Seoul Olympics besides the 1980 edition. He also played in the 1982 and 1986 World Cups as well as the 1982 and 1986 Asian Games.
Former Indian centre-forward Jagbir Singh – a former team-mate of Shahid – says Indian hockey has lost a champion player. “I know Mohammed Shahid for a long time since my early hockey days in Lucknow. I used to look up to him as a senior player of the Lucknow Sports Hostel. He is a jovial guy and a fantastic human being,” Jagbir recalls in an informal chat.
Jagbir played alongside Shahid at the 1986 Seoul Asain Games and 1988 Seoul Olympics. “He was a senior player then while I was a youngster in the side. Shahidji used to treat youngsters very well – he will put him arm around our arms and made us feel comfortable. It was a big thing in those days for a youngster to be made comfortably by a player of his stature,” he reminisces.
Jagbir, who had played in the 1988 and 1992 Olympics, said that Shahid used to instil fear in the opposition ranks. “His dribbling was of the top draw – such were his dribbling skills that opponents were shy of engaging in a tackle with him for the fear of being put to shame. Shahidji used to beat a defender and at times turn him over once, twice or even thrice,” he remembers.
Jagbir revealed one trait of late Shahid. “Not many know that he was a good singer – he could sing ghazals with aplomb. He can also crack jokes at all times – all his jokes were extremely hilarious. A player like Shahid is born and not made,” Jagbir fires his parting summing up how much Shahid’s death is a big loss for Indian hockey.