Bust of hockey legend Leslie Claudius installed in Kolkata

Kolkata, Dec 20 (IANS) A bust of legendary hockey player Leslie Claudius was installed at a prime location in the city on Tuesday.

Claudius, an anglo-Indian based in Kolkata, was member of three Olympic gold medal-winning Indian teams — London (1948), Helsinki (1952) and Melbourne (1956). At Rome (1960), he led India to a silver medal finish.

“Humbled to install bust of true Indian #Hockey legend Leslie Claudius today ParkSt #Kolkata 3 Olympic golds, 1 silver. Thanks @MamataOfficial,” Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Derek O’Brien who unveiled the bust tweeted.

Organised by the Leslie Claudius Memorial Committee, an affiliate of Calcutta Customs Superannuated Officers Association of which Claudius was the founder president, this is their third venture in the name of the hockey great.

The road leading to city football club East Bengal is named Leslie Claudius Road while the ongoing Beighton Cup runners-up prize is also in the name of the diminutive player known for his extraordinary half-line distribution and tackling.

“We are also planning to help aspiring players with scholarships in the name of Mr Claudius. We hope to start the initiative by next year,” Leslie Claudius Memorial Committee Organising Secretary Soumyajit Bhowmick said.

Claudius retired from international hockey after the 1960 Olympics, but continued to compete in domestic tournaments till the 1965 season.

In 1971, Claudius became the sixth Indian hockey player to be given the prestigious Padma Shri award. He also served as the national team manager for the 1974 and the 1978 Asian Games.

He was also a national selector for several years.

Claudius passed away on December 20, 2012, aged 85, in Kolkata.