Legendary hockey player, national coach and national award winning sportsperson Abdul Malek Chunnu passed away at a city hospital yesterday.
Chunnu was 55 and had been suffering from a number of health problems, including diabetes and kidney disease. He is survived by his wife and three sons.
Chunnu, a superstar in his playing days, captained Bangladesh in the eighth, ninth and tenth Asian Games in 1978, ‘82 and ’86. He also participated in the first, second and third Asia Cup Hockey tournaments in 1981, ‘85 and ‘89 respectively. A pall of gloom descended on the Bangladesh sports arena at the death of Chunnu, who first came to the limelight for his impressive performance in 1977 Junior Asia Cup Hockey in Kuala Lumpur.
The robust forward played for Abahani, Mohammedan Sporting Club and Shadharan Bima during his 16-year career as hockey player. He also played football for Azad Sporting Club in the first division league for three consecutive seasons, starting from 1979.
He was working as a coach for the National Sports Council before his death.
Chunnu was honored with the Bangladesh Sports Writers Association award in 1984, the Bangladesh Sports Journalists Association award in 1995 and the National Sports Award in 2004.
He was buried at Azimpur graveyard after his Namaj-e-Janaja at Tara masque in old town yesterday evening.
Bangladesh Hockey Federation, Bangladesh Football Federation, Bangladesh Kho Kho Federation, Bangladesh Sports Press Association and Bangladesh Sports Journalists’ Association expressed their sadness at Chunnu’s passing and extended sympathy to his family.