Two-time Olympic gold medalist hockey Legend Keshav Dutt died on Wednesday of age-related illnesses, marking the end of a glorious era in the sport. Dutt was 95 years old and survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter, all of whom settled abroad. The former midfielder passed away around 12:30 am at his residence in Santoshpur, Calcutta where he was living alone. Born on December 29, 1925 in Lahore, Dutt was part of the golden age of hockey after he made Kolkata his home after the partition.
He was a phenomenal half-back, and was part of India’s historic achievement in 1948 the Olympics The country beat hosts Britain 4-0 at Wembley Stadium in London to win its first gold after independence.
Prior to the 1948 Olympics, Dutt toured East Africa under the famous pioneer Dian Chand in 1947.
Dutt was also part of the Indian team at the 1952 Helsinki Games, where they beat the Netherlands 6-1 in the top match to become Olympic champions for the fifth consecutive time.
“We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of legendary full-back Keshav Dutt earlier this morning.
“He was the only surviving member of the 1948 and 1952 Olympics, and today truly feels like the end of an era,” Indian Hockey President Gyanendro Ninggombam said in a statement.
“We have all grown up hearing incredible stories of their unforgettable outings to independent India at the Olympics and go on to inspire generations of hockey players in the country.”
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also offered her condolences.
The world of hockey has lost one of its true legends today. Sad on the death of Keshav Dutt. Double Olympic gold medalist, 1948 and 1952. Champion of India and Bengal. My condolences to his family and friends.
– Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) 7 July 2021
“The world of hockey has lost one of its true legends today. Sad at the passing of Keshav Dutt. He was a two Olympic gold medal winner, 1948 and 1952. Champion of India and Bengal. My condolences to his family and friends,” Banerjee tweeted.
As an integral part of the Indian team, Datt also led Mohun Bagan Hockey team from 1951-1953 and again between 1957 and 1958.
As a Mohun Bagan player, he won the Hockey League six times and the Beighton Cup three times in a 10-year period.
He was awarded the Mohun Bagan Ratna Award in 2019, becoming the first non-footballer to receive this honor.
“SAI mourns the passing of Keshav Dutt, a member of the 1948 and 1952 @ Olympics gold medalist hockey teams of India,” the Sports Authority of India wrote on Twitter.
“His contribution to the great legacy of Indian hockey will be remembered forever. My condolences to his family and hockey brothers.”
Tennis star Leander Paes, whose father Dr. Faces Paes was a former Olympic hockey player, also expressed his condolences over the death of Dutt, whom he knew personally.
“Very sad for the passing of Uncle Keshav. A very dear family friend and hero I was looking forward to growing up. He always encouraged me. My deepest condolences to his family!” Posted on Twitter.
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