Pakistan field hockey great Mansoor Ahmed dies at 49

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan field hockey great Mansoor Ahmed died on Saturday after suffering from a heart ailment for three years. He was 49.

"(Mansoor) passed away this afternoon due to several heart complications," Dr. Naveed Qamar said at a news conference at a hospital in the southern port city of Karachi.

Mansoor reached out to India for a heart transplant, and was reportedly reluctant to carry out a surgery in Pakistan. He underwent major heart surgery in 2016, and his condition started deteriorating this year.

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."

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