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Pak hockey legend Mansoor Ahmed passes away in Karachi 

Karachi: Pakistan’s World Cup-winning hockey goalkeeper Mansoor Ahmed passed away at a city hospital here on Saturday after battling a prolonged heart ailment.

The 49-year-old Olympian had been suffering for weeks from complications stemming from a pacemaker and stents implanted in his heart, and had reached out to India for help in securing a heart transplant.

Pakistan government had reportedly offered Ahmed a mechanical heart transplantation which, had he accepted, would have been the first time the procedure was to be conducted in the country.

But Ahmed had refused the offer as he wanted a more conventional and proven procedure, for which he had wanted to go to India.

The hockey legend, who was known as the 1994 World Cup hero for Pakistan, had been suffering from heart ailment for the past three years and was under treatment at the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases here.

“Mansoor passed away this afternoon due to heart complications,” Dr Naveed Qamar said.

Mansoor was advised by senior heart surgeons at the hospital to undergo an operation to have a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) implanted to help pump blood to his heart.

“They are all looking after me very well here but I want to go for a proper heart transplant as the are donors available in India right now,” the weak and frail looking Mansoor had told PTI from his bed on May 1.

He had said that the LVAD procedure basically is a plastic mechanical pump implanted in a heart to help it function but he preferred to have a proper heart transplant which was available in Chennai, India.

A renowned heart surgeon, Dr Komarakshi Balakrishnan at the Fortis Malar hospital in Chennai had looked at Mansoor’s case and assured him if he came to India he could do the heart transplant immediately.

Dr Qamar who is the administrative head at the NIVCD said Mansoor’s condition was not right for him to travel anywhere.

Mansoor, who became a household name in 1994 after heroic saves in penalty shootouts against Germany and Holland in the Champions Trophy and World Cup finals, had also appealed to the Indian government to issue him the necessary visa to travel to Chennai.

Mansoor, who represented Pakistan in some 338 internationals, had already had a major heart surgery in 2016 and since early this year was battling for his life.

The Pakistan hockey fraternity was shocked at the sad demise of the goalkeeper who won many a match for his country.

“It is very sad that he has passed away at such a young age. He was working with us and contributing to the development of goalkeepers and junior players,” Shahbaz Ahmad, the secretary of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) said.

Shabaz, a former Pakistan captain, said the PHF was aware of Mansoor’s condition and had approached the government for help and also assisted him financially. PTI

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