Michael Kindo passes away: 'A fine gentleman, a great player', 1975 World Cup-winning players remember the hockey hero
Late Michael Kindo's teammates from the 1975 World Cup-winning campaign remember their colleague, and good friend Kindi bhai.
World Cup winner and Olympic medallist Michael Kindo passed away in a hospital in Rourkela after suffering from age-related ailments on 31 December, 2020.
He was a member of the hockey World Cup-winning team of 1975, which beat Pakistan in the final to lift the Cup. It remains India's solitary World Cup win. Kindo played as a full back and was considered one of the finest defenders of his era.
He passed away at the age of 73. His family told PTI that he was bed-ridden for a long time and was suffering from depression as well.
Deeply saddened to know the passing away of hockey legend and Arjuna Awardee #MichaelKindo, a tribal icon and part of India's World Cup winning team of 1975. My thoughts are with his family and fans.
— Naveen Patnaik (@Naveen_Odisha) December 31, 2020
After he passed away, Kindo's teammates from the 1975 World Cup-winning campaign remembered their colleague, and good friend Kindi Bhai.
Here are their reactions:
The last day of the year 2020 turned out to be the most saddening and heart-breaking day for Indian hockey. As we continue to weather a storm, our brightest hockey star and a close friend Michael Kindo left us. When I heard the terrible news, I could not believe that one of the most trusted players of our defence line would leave us suddenly. Whether it was the 1971 World Cup, 1972 Munich Olympics, 1975 World Cup, he played a key role for the team. Kindi Bhai, as all of us called him, would never let the spirit of the team go down. I cannot believe he is no more.
He knew how to keep our spirits alive. I remember how at times he would use a hockey stick as guitar and sing and dance with the rest of the team. So many memories of his are flashing in front of my eyes today, making me meotional. It was impossible for the attack line of the opposition to breach our defence till Kindo was standing at the D. He had a clean tackling technique and had mastery over ball distribution. He protected the goal like he protected the territorial waters as an Indian Navy officer.
With his passing, I am reminded about my other colleagues from the 1975 World Cup squad who had left us earlier - the great Surjit Singh, Mohinder Pal Singh Munshi, and Shivaji Pawar. Kindo could not come, due to his worsening health condition, to Odisha at the felicitation ceremony of the 1975 World Cup-winning team during the 2018 hockey World Cup. However, his family was there in his absence. We all missed him at that time. He is no more with us but the Arjuna Awardee will always be remembered for his contribution to Indian hockey and his services to the Indian Navy. I pray to the almighty that his family gets the strength to overcome the grief of his passing away. Indian hockey is with Kindo's family in this hour of grief.
- Ashok Kumar Dhaynchand
Hockey legend Michael Kindo will be remembered for his memorable sporting performances. He brought home lots of pride and laurels. Undoubtedly a brilliant hockey player, he also made a mark as a great mentor. Pained by his demise. Condolences to his family and well wishers. pic.twitter.com/z6HJlnh6c3
— Dilip Kumar Tirkey (@DilipTirkey) December 31, 2020
Extremely sad and shocked to hear about the passing away of our teammate Michael. More than being a brilliant player, he was a perfect gentleman and a very fine human. May his soul Rest In Peace, and may the Almighty God give his family the strength to bear the loss. Rest in peace my teammate and friend.
- Leslie Fernandez
Very sad to hear the very sad news of passing away of a very fine gentleman and eminent sportsman. May Almighty bless the noble soul to rest in peace and give strength to the family to bear this unbearable loss.
- Harinder Chimni
Extremely sad to hear about the demise of Michael Kindo who played with me as right back in so many international games. He was a great player. I pray to almighty to rest his soul in peace
- Varinder Singh
Extremely sad to know the demise of my dear friend Micheal Kindo. We donned the Indian colours from 1972. A fine full back, like rock. Missing you Kindo, with loving memories biding farewell to you. Praying for your soul to Rest in Peace.
- VJ Philips
Very very sad news... Extremely shocking to know the demise of Micheal Kindo a fine gentleman and great dependable player in the deep defence. He was a pillar of strength for the World Cup-winning team in 1975. He never committed mistakes on the playing field and was a complete team player. He was superb in tackling and clearances and did the right job at the right time for the team.
Thank you Michael for giving your great contribution to the national hockey team for years. May God bless your soul to rest in peace. My condolences for the family and pray to God to give them the strength to bear the loss of the departed noble soul. Hockey has lost a great man.
- Ajit Pal Singh
We missed him at Bhubaneswar in 2018 as he was not well. His absence then was compensated by the presence of Mrs Kindo and his son. Now we are going to miss him forever.
With his going, our World Champion team is further weakened, having lost so many stalwarts earlier.
God bless the departed great souls and give strength to us all to cherish a great win in 1975.
- Brig. Harcharan Singh
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