Zafar Iqbal (field hockey)
|Born||21 February 1956|
|Playing position||Left Out|
Mr. Zafar Iqbal has made invaluable contribution to the Indian Hockey Team since he first donned the national colours against Holland in 1977, which the team went on to win. He played at the Asian Games, Bangkok in 1978 and was the Captain of the team at New Delhi in 1982, winning the silver medal in both. The crowning glory of his illustrious career in hockey came to him in 1980 when he represented India at the Moscow Olympics and brought home the Gold Medal after a long hiatus. Further, he had the honour of carrying the Indian Tricolour off the Indian Squad at the Opening Ceremony of the Los Angeles Olympics 1984. He also won the bronze medal for the country at the Champion’s Trophy 1982 in Holland and won many other tournaments against Pakistan, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, West Germany and other European nations.
Born in 1956, he was brought up in an erudite family of the AMU. His father, Professor Mohammed Shahabuddin Ahmed, served as the Chairman of the Department of Chemistry in the University. Mr. Zafar Iqbal has his schooling at the S.T.S High School (Minto Circle) and later on, secured Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineering from the Zakir Hussain College of Engineering and Technology, AMU. He then went on to take Indian hockey to its pinnacle of distinction and glory.
He later married Fauzia Saleem, the daughter of a family friend in 1985. They together have two children, Yasir Iqbal and Samia Iqbal.
His extraordinary game as “Left Out” in the Indian blue jersey with the number 11 embossed at the back is a glorious part of the history of Indian Hockey. After hanging his hockey sticks he immersed himself in coaching as the Chief National Coach, head Coach and National Selector for the Indian hockey squad. The team coached by him won the silver medal at the Asian Games in Hiroshima in 1994.
Mr. Zafar Iqbal is a strong proponent of hard work, team spirit, camaraderie and symbiotic partnership amongst team members. He stresses upon the adoption of modern innovations like sports physiology and psychology in Indian sports administration. He also believes that universities are the nurseries for talent, honing them to represent the country and he has contributed time and again to AMU, making it a nurturing ground for budding talent. Widely and rightly acknowledged by the print and electronic media as the ‘Gentleman of Hockey.
The country conferred Mr. Zafar Iqbal with the highest honour for a sportsman, the “Arjuna Award” in 1983. In 2012, the President of India honoured him with the “Padma Shri” for his invaluable services and the U. P. Government gave him the highest citizen award of the state, “Yash Bharti” in 1994. He was felicitated at the ‘Golden Greats’ platform by ‘Hockey India’ along with 34 other Olympic Gold Medalists in 2012. In recognition of his indispensable services to the nation, Aligarh Nagar Nigam has befittingly named a road after him and in 2013, in honour of his commitment to the revival of hockey at AMU, the university presented him with the D.Litt. Honoris Causa at its 60th Annual Convocation.
- "Padma Shri is a recognition for Indian hockey: Zafar". Top News. 25 January 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2013.