Sona Miah, former national hockey player breathed his last yesterday morning at his residence in Lalbagh, Dhaka. He was 69.
He left behind his wife, three daughters, two sons including current national team captain Rasel Mahmud Jimmy, and a host of well-wishers.
Affectionately called the Tiger of Bengal during his playing career due to his speedy runs and lethal attacks, Sona Miah had been suffering from various ailments since having a brain haemorrhage in 2009 and was mostly confined within his house.
He was recently taken to the hospital following another haemorrhage before being brought back home on January 26. However, he was rushed to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital after feeling sick in the early hours of yesterday, but doctors declared him dead in the morning.
Sona Miah was one of the finest hockey players the country has ever produced as he was a regular player of the then East Pakistan national team from 1967 to 1970. He was called up for trial for the all Pakistan hockey team along with Abdus Sadeque, but was later selected for the Pakistan youth team in 1969.
Born in Dhaka in 1949, Sona Miah started his playing career as a centre-forward for Mahuttuli, now known as Usha KC, in 1963 when he was a student of Armanitola School. The following year he joined Azad Sporting Club and later played for Combined SC, Victory SC, PWD and Abahani, where he called time on his career in 1988 after playing for the Sky Blues for six successive years.
He also represented Bangladesh team in a four-match series against Sri Lanka in 1978. He took on the role of coach of the junior national team in the World Cup Qualifying round in 1988 before guiding the national team in the 3rd Asia Cup. He also coached Usha KC and Dhaka Mariner Youngs Club.
“We played together for different teams since 1962. We had some great memories. Bangladesh's hockey has lost a great contributor,” recalled BHF general secretary Abdus Sadeque.
The body of Sona Miah was taken to the Maulana Bhasani National Stadium for his first namaz-e-janaza where a host of people paid their respects.
He was later laid to eternal rest at the Azimpur Graveyard after his second namaz-e-janaja was held at the Chawkbazar Shahi Mosque following Asr prayers.