Muscat: India Olympian and former Oman assistant hockey coach Joe Antic, who had been hospitalised a few days ago, died on Tuesday, 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 informed PTI.
Antic represented India 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 assistant coach of the Oman team, deputising for Saiyed Ali Sibatin Naqvi, during the 1982 Asian Games in Delhi.
"He was the Oman national team's assistant coach for two years," William was quoted mentioning to PTI.
S.A.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 Antic is another blow. I sincerely offer my deepest condolences on his sad demise. May the Almighty bless his soul to rest in peace. I pray the Almighty to give patience for the greatest loss to Antic dynasty," said Naqvi, who is still based in Muscat continuing his service for Oman hockey as an adviser.
"I may add that Antic and myself started playing for Western Railway, Bombay XI and the Indian Railways as well as coached at the 1973 World Cup camp at NIS Patiala and Calcutta. We both had captained the Bombay XI, Western Railway. The greatest centre half was most outstanding defender," said Naqvi.
"I express my deep sorrow and grief and send my condolences to the bereaved family in Mumbai. I join them in their most difficult time and share their sorrow," said Naqvi in his message to Times Sport.
"This is the very shocking news for me and the hockey fraternity of Oman," he added.
In fact Antic was neighbour of Naqvi in Mumbai and had played with him from 1953 to 1973.
"I still remember when he accompanied me to Oman to assist me when I was appointed as the chief coach of Oman Hockey team in 1982," said Naqvi.