Keshav Dutt, a member of independent India’s first Olympic gold winning team, passes away

New Delhi
He was part of the Indian hockey team that won the Olympic gold medal twice. Keshav Dutt died on Wednesday due to age related ailments. He was 95 years old. Former center halfback Dutt breathed his last at 12.30 pm at his residence in Santoshpur, Kolkata.

Dutt was part of the Indian team at the 1948 London Games where India won the gold medal in hockey for the first time since independence. He was also a part of the Indian hockey team that won the gold medal in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. Hockey India President Gyanandro Ningombam said in a statement, “We are all deeply saddened to hear about the passing of legendary halfback Keshav Dutt early today. He was the only surviving member of the Indian teams that won gold medals in the 1948 and 1952 Olympics and today it seems that an era has come to an end.

“We all grew up listening to the wonderful stories of his memorable matches at the Olympics for an independent India and he inspired generations of hockey players in the country,” he said.

“Hockey India condoles his death and on behalf of the federation, I extend my condolences to his family,” he said.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also condoled his death. Mamta tweeted, ‘The hockey world lost a real great player today. Saddened by the passing of Keshav Dutt. He was part of the Indian teams that won Olympic gold medals in 1948 and 1952. Champion of India and Bengal. Condolences to his family and friends.

Dutt, who was an important part of the Indian team, led the Mohun Bagan hockey team in 1951–1953 and again in 1957–1958. The Mohun Bagan team under his presence won the Hockey League title six times and the Baton Cup three times in 10 years. He was awarded the Mohun Bagan Ratna in 2019 and became the first non-footballer to receive this honour.


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