on April 14, 1960 and
passed away on July 20, 2016.
Born in Varanasi and blessed with a natural talent with the stick on the field, it did not take long for him to announce his entrance into the sporting world. Mohammed Shahid as a 19 year old lad made his first appearance for India in the junior team in 1979 at the Junior World Cup in France and made into the senior team on the same year. It was under the celebrated captain Vasudevan Baskaran in a four nation tournament in Kuala Lumpur Shahid made is presence felt.
As a product of the Sports College Lucknow that raised other stars like Ravinder Pal Singh and Rajinder Singh Rawat, Shahid established himself in the history of Indian hockey. The unmatched running ability, a unique skill in dribbling the ball and a push as fast as a hard hit earmarked Shahid's style on the field. With this characteristic playing technique his attacking partnership on the field with Zafar Iqbal was well known and at right-in positions he could penetrate the best of the defences around the world. Shahid was instrumental in the V. Baskaran led India winning the gold medal at the 1980 Olympics Games.
Shahid was one of a kind as unlike Dyan Chand or Balbir Singh Senior, he was not groomed to score goals but instead as the inside forward Shahid's primary role was to create scoring opportunities for his teammates. He simply excelled in this. Shahid along with Zafar Iqbal and Merwyn Fernandes formed one of the best attacking trios India has ever had. Every time he stepped out of the shadow of defenders, he would inevitably end up scoring a goal, earning a penalty corner or a penalty stroke. It was actually a sweet reversal when he himself scored the goal that helped India to win the gold medal at the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
As a magician on field especially with his dribbling skills, created a unique and his own brand of play with his 'half push - half hit' stroke. This is a stroke that Shahid used to hit the ball using the same grip that he used to dribble the ball with. With left hand on top of the handle and the right half low down around the centre of the stick, Shahid mastered this shot with minimum back lift to slam the ball to make accurate passes. This, without doubt, became his notable contribution to the game itself as many players such as Dhanraj Pillai, adapted this stroke.
A great player who stamped his incredible style in Indian hockey, a great friend to many who knew him, he enjoyed his life and always checked on others. Shahid won many awards in his illustrious career. He was awarded the 'Best Forward player' at the 1980 Champions Trophy in Karachi. Member of the team that won the gold at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, silver at the 1982 Asian Games and bronze at the 1986 Asian Games. He played in the World Cup in Bombay in 1981-82, the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984 and the Seoul Games in 1988. He also captained the Indian team during 1985-86.
Mohammed Shahid was felicitated with Arjuna Award (1980-81) and Padma Shri (1986). This ace dribbler's magical skills on the field will always be inspirational for every budding hockey player and will be remembered forever in the history of Indian Hockey.
This is a SoulPrints tribute to Mohammed Shahid.