Samiullah - Legends of Hockey
Written by PHF   

Samiullah was referred by the sobriquet "Flying Horse", so breathtaking was the power,
rhythm, grace and control of this celebrated left-winger.

Akhtar retired in a blaze of glory, as skipper of the side which won the gold in the 82's Bombay.

Sami definitely was one of the greats, the kind of player whom one could go miles to watch with the possible exception of Hassan Sardar, he was an outstanding player of his era in terms of flair and skill and also in star value.


In 1972, with the celebrated left-winger Shahnaz Sheikh serving the FIH ban , the Pakistan team was looking for a replacement. Sami was basically an inside forward, but the selectors tried him on the wing. They hit pay dirt, as with Zahid Sheikh, Shahbaz's elder brother who was a highly artistic inner, feeding him to make such a terrific impact that the slot was his till he hung his boots in 1982 after he captained side to that memorable Asiad triumph where India was decimated 7-1.

Going on a victorious note was the cherished dream of this gentle, relaxed winger who was like a bolt in the left, piercing the opposition defenses at will, turning on his heels at such stunning speed one would not have believed possible had one not seen him in action .The marvel was that he could still send measured, goals fetching crosses running at that scorching pace.

bwd  Set 1/2  fwd


As manager of the national junior team, Sami guided it for the first time since 1979 to a position where it could have won the gold only to see the dream fade away due to bone drenching rain. Pakistan had to remain content with a silver .For the'96 Olympics, sami was handed a fractious team after the trauma of revolt at the eleventh hour, and it was none of his fault that it landed its worst position in the Olympics, a lowly sixth . Sami was again manager of the Junior side when he was in for the disappointment of his life when in the sixth World Cup at Milton Keynes, Pakistan finished fifth, the first time they were to remain out of the medals hunt.