The Early Days
After the marvels in Squash and Cricket, Hockey was the third game in which Pakistan entered the
world scene. Pakistan entered London Olympics in 1948 but lost in
semi-finals. The same fate was met in 1952 Helsinki Olympics. However, Pakistani squad knew their objective was the finals and practised hard which brought them eye ball to eye ball with the Indians in the final of the 1956 Olympic Hockey Tournament in Melbourne (Australia).
Although Pakistan didn't win gold but the the silver medal created ripples for the Indians as their
supremacy was now under threat. Henceforth, Pakistan never looked back and went from strength to strength, setting up new records and milestones en route to the top. For next three decades Pakistan was at the top, beginning from Rome in 1960.
The Rome Olympics - 1960
September 9, 1960 was the day for which Pakistan had been longing for. Pakistan met the Indian hockey team, the world champion for 32 years, in the finals at Rome Olympics. Both sides gave each other a rough time. Indians were not giving in and Pakistanis were not leaving
without gold. Finally left-in Naseer Bunda scored the only goal of the match and brought first ever gold to Pakistan and an acclaim of international level.
This was just the beginning and the period between 1960 and 1986 being the golden era of Pakistan hockey. Thrice during this period Pakistan won the Olympic and World Cup titles. The Asian Games title was won six times and the Champions Trophy in the first two years of its inauguration. Twice Pakistan held three of the world's most prestigious titles at the same time - the Asian, Olympic and World Cup crowns. No other hockey playing country has achieved this feat in the history of the game so far.
The Decline of Hockey
Having reached the zenith like the Indians, the unconquered were finally tamed. In 1986. Pakistan lost the Asian Games and the World Cup titles. South Korea snatched the Asian games title from Pakistan 2-1, a feather in the cap since 1970. Interestingly Pakistan had beat South Korea by ten goals in the ninth Asiad at Delhi four years ago. Same year Pakistan lost the World Cup (England became the new World Champion), whereas Pakistan finished second from the bottom, India being the last. It was the irony of fate that the two top teams from Asia which used to fight for the two top positions in international tournaments had to play off for the last two places in the 1986 World Cup.
The Flying Horse
The highest goal scoring player in the world
Celebrating his 100th birthday in Lahore in August 2004 is the oldest living Olympic gold medalist in the world (Feroz was part of the 1928 Indian hockey team).
Alas soon thereafter we lost Feroze Khan. He died at
the age of 101 on Apr 20, 2005
Winners of President's Pride of Performance Awards