One of the Hockey legend Lala Fazal-ur-Rehman was born on 15th March, 1941 at Abbottabad. He got his early education from Government Islamia High School, Abbottabad from where he passed his matriculation. He also played hockey for his school team. After finishing his matriculation he joined Mardan Sugar Mills and played hockey for their team. He further polished his hockey skills as Left-half when he joined Osmania Hockey Club, Abbottabad.

In 1965, he was selected in the Pakistan hockey team that toured Indonesia. During the first test against Indonesia he made his maiden appearance in the international hockey. Due to his brilliant performance on the tour he was again included for the East Africa tour.

In 1966, he accompanied the Pakistan team to play in the International Hockey Tournament held at Hamburg (Germany). Prior to the tournament he also visited the Continent to play test matches Poland, Belgium and Netherlands. Back home he played against the touring West Germans in a home series. During the same season, he visited Bangkok to play in the Asian Games.

Soon after the 1966, Asian Games he was omitted from the Pakistan team and was not considered for the home series against Netherlands and Australia. However he was recalled in the team for the Pre-Olympic Tournament held at London in 1967.

In 1968, an injury prevented him to play in the Pre-Olympic Festival held at Lahore and home series against Kenya. After regaining fitness he was back in the team to play in the International Hockey Festival at Nairobi and test matches against Uganda during the same season.However, he was part of the Pakistan team for the Olympics which were held at Mexico and became an Olympian. Pakistan achieved the Gold medal after beating Australia by 2-0 margin.

In 1969, he was selected in the Pakistan Junior team that played in the International Hockey Tournament held at Lahore. His outstanding performance led his team to the final where they met with Pakistan Senior team. Pakistan Junior team fought well and conceded the winning goal in the last stages of the final and remained the runners-up. Their performance can also be gauged that during the whole tournament in which nine nations participated who represented in the 1968 Olympics. They conceded just 2 goals, while 11 were scored by them in the 6 games. Then he proceeded to Europe with the Pakistan team where he played test matches against West Germany, Netherlands, Great Britain, France, Italy and United Arab Republic.

In 1970, he again accompanied the Pakistan team to tour Kenya, but unfortunately the tour had to be cancelled and Pakistan team was recalled home soon after the third test at Nairobi which was abandoned midway due to unprecedented and unsporting act. The he went to Bangkok to participate in the Asian Games, where Pakistan got the Gold Medal after beating arch-rival India by 1-0, the goal being scored in 98th. The match was extended to the sudden death play after the scheduled 70 minutes and extra-time of 15 minutes had produced a 0-0 result.

In 1971, he was again part of the Pakistan team which participated in the inaugural edition of the hockey World Cup held at Barcelona (Spain). Pakistan beat the host Spain in the final through a solitary goal scored by Akhtar-ul-Islam in the 26th minutes of the match to lift the World Cup and the Gold medal. The World XI, announced after this victory, included three Pakistanis including left-half Fazal-ur-Rehman, left-in Asad Malik and the young left-out Shahnaz Sheikh.

Fazal-ur-Rehman Pakistani Hockey Player
In 1972, he played in the second Olympics of his career, which were held at Munich (West Germany). The West German victory was the first title by a European nation since 1920, but was marred by the behavior of Pakistani players, fans, and officials. In the last ten minutes of the gold medal match, the umpires had to stop play twice so that Pakistani fans that had run onto the pitch could be removed, while their players and officials repeatedly remonstrated with the umpires. At the final whistle, Pakistani fans and officials invaded the pitch and assaulted West German police and stadium security before storming the tournament officials’ table and pouring a bucket of water over International Hockey Federation president Rene Frank, while the players destroyed their locker room. At the medal ceremony, the Pakistani players refused to wear their Silver medals or face the West German flag as it was raised, and turned their backs as the West German national anthem was played. The eleven Pakistani players were banned for life from their national team, but after a high-level apology, the ban was reduced to two years, and eight of them played in the next Olympics. This also proved to be his last appearance in the International Hockey. Overall he got four Gold medals and three Silver medals in his entire international hockey career which spanned from 1965 until 1972

After retiring from the playing active hockey, he established Fazal Hockey Club and coached the youngsters till his death.

His son Inam-ur-Rehman has also played for Pakistan Juniors in the Junior Asia Cup held at Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) in 2000 and his nephew Naeem Akhtar, a former Olympian has also played for Pakistan in the international hockey.

In 1971, he was also awarded Pride of Performance, the highest civil award by the Government of Pakistan, in recognition of his contributions towards Pakistan hockey.

Offering words of condolence for the bereaved family, President AHF Fumio Ogura said: “It is very saddening to learn of this loss. I will pray for the departed and also that his family find solace in this tough time.”

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