Hockey Olympian Joe Antic, who had been hospitalised a few days ago, died here last night, according to family sources. He was 90.
Antic, the centre half of the Rome Olympics squad in 1960 that won the silver medal, is survived by son William and daughter Rita. He had lost his wife in 2011.
“He was unwell and did not come out of ICU. Please highlight the fact that no one bothered to come to his financial aid although he had brought laurels to the country,” Antic’s son William told PTI.
Antic represented the country in the Rome Games where Pakistan ended India’s glorious 32-year golden run by winning the final between the arch-foes 1-0.
A centre half, Antic also was part of the hockey squad that finished runner-up, again to Pakistan, in the Asian Games at Jakarta two years later.
According to William, the former international player, who toured East Africa and Europe with the senior team in the late 1950s, had retired from Western Railway in the mid-1980s.
After his playing days, he took up coaching. After being one of the coaches in the Indian team’s World Cup camp in 1973, he became the national coach of the Oman team that took part in the 1982 Asian Games in Delhi.
“He was the Oman national team’s coach for two years,” William said.
S S Naqvi, who was his former Bombay (now Mumbai) and Western Railway teammate, wrote on his Facebook page that one by one the stalwarts of Indian hockey during its Golden era (1928-1964 when the country won seven of its eight gold medals in Olympics) are departing from this world.
“The Golden era stalwarts are now leaving one by one. The passing of Mr J Antic is another blow. I sincerely offer my deepest condolences on his sad demise. May God bless his soul in peace. I pray the Almighty to give patience for the greatest loss to Antic dynasty,” said Naqvi.
“I may add that Mr Antic and myself started playing in the Western Rly, Bombay XI and the Indian Railways as well as coaches at the 1973 World Cup camp at NIS Patiala and Calcutta. We both had captained the Bombay XI, Western Rly. The greatest centre half was most outstanding defender,” wrote Naqvi.