India's triple Olympic gold medallist and one of the legends of the game of hockey, Leslie Claudius passed away in Kolkata on Thursday after a prolonged illness.
Claudius was suffering from cirrhosis of the liver and frequently needed hospitalization in the past couple of years.
He was 85 years old and is survived by a wife and three sons.
One of his sons Brandon lives with him in Kolkata and the other two live in Australia.
In an illustrious career, Claudius had three Olympic gold medals —London 1948, Helsinki 1952 and Melbourne 1956. At Rome in 1960, he led India to a silver-medal finish.
Claudius was being treated at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of a local hospital for abnormal fluid retention.
"In fact his condition had got better yesterday and doctors were hopeful of discharging him. But today morning, it deteriorated," Brandon told PTI.
In past last 11 months, Claudius had been hospitalised four times due to ill-health. Claudius was one of the five surviving members (Keshav Dutt, Grahanandan Singh, Jaswant Singh Rajput, and Balbir Singh Senior) of the 1948 squad that had won the gold in London when it hosted Olympics 64 years ago.
One of the finest right-half and former captain, Claudius was also part of next three editions of the quadrennial extravaganza that won two gold and one silver, a record only matched by compatriot Udham Singh.