KARACHI: Noted Olympian and member of the 1968 Mexico Olympic gold-winning Pakistan hockey team Jahangir Butt passed away here on Tuesday morning after brief illness and complications at a local hospital.

He was 78.

The deceased is survived by widow, a daughter and a son. His eldest son had died while doing his flying hours along with his instructor in the US long ago.

He was laid to rest in Defence Phase VII graveyard in the evening. His funeral was attended by former Olympians, internationals, organisers, family members and friends.

The Gujranwala-born Butt shot to fame when Pakistan captured its second Olympic gold after Rome’s feat. Four years later he was part of Pakistan team that earned silver at Munich Olympics.

He had succeeded Olympian Motiullah as left winger. He was a versatile player who, besides left winger, played on all positions except goalkeeper.

In addition to back-to-back Olympics, he had won gold at the inaugural World Cup at Barcelona in 1971 and silver and gold in 1966 and 1970 Asian Games respectively. Both the Asiads were held at Bangkok.

The soft-spoken Butt, who was loved by all and sundry for his views and compassion, retired as Superintendent Customs (Preventive).

He remained involved with the game after his playing days.

He had served as coach of Pakistan junior hockey teams thrice that won a gold at inaugural Junior World Cup at Versailles, France in 1979 and two bronze at the 1985 Vancouver and 1989 Ipoh Junior World Cups.

He assisted Dr Tariq Aziz who was manager at Versailles and Vancouver and Sami Khan at Ipoh in the same capacity.

The Sami Khan and Jahangir Butt combination yielded fruitful results from 1986-1989 and the team remained undefeated in 42 international matches before losing the semi-final to Australia 3-4.

He was awarded Tamgha-i-Imtiaz for his meritorious feats by the government in 1971.

Published in Dawn, September 8th, 2021

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