Olympian and former India captain Mukesh Kumar expressed shock over the >demise of one of India’s hockey greats, Mohammad Shahid.

"It is a huge loss to the sport itself. Arguably, he was one of the finest ever to grace the game. A true magician with the stick on the field. And, it is all the more distressing for me personally as I was really keen to meet him after coming to know about his ailment," Mukesh said.

"Yes, I was fortunate to see him in action from the sidelines as a ball boy when the whole of India saw Shahid score that fantastic goal against Pakistan in a Test match at the Lal Bahadur Stadium in Hyderabad in 1986," Mukesh recalled.

"The best tribute to this great player would be the Indian hockey team coming back with an Olympic medal, for that is what the great Shahid fought for as a player right through his career – putting his country’s pride over everything else," said the famous right-winger of yesteryear.