In Kailash Raj Singh's death, Mumbai Hockey Association have lost a heavyweight of a do-gooder. Kailash's two-decade long association with MHA ended prematurely through a cardiac arrest on Tuesday. He was only 45.
RIP: MHA's Kailash Raj Singh
Never one to leave a job unfinished, Kailash's efficiency shone through in his compilation of results of the day's matches, writing reports to publicise league matches and faxing them to newspaper houses -- all within a matter of minutes. His job did not end there.
He made it a point to call up sports desks all over the city to urge them to spare some space for hockey. His verbal requests would invariably end with the words, "sir, please do it for the betterment of hockey."
Sadly Kailash leaves behind his mother, wife, son, two daughters and the unfinished task of supervising the laying out of the new artificial surface and installation of floodlights at the MHA-Mahindra Stadium.
India hockey star Yuvraj Valmiki owes a lot to 'Kailash uncle'. "During my junior days, he wrote a lot of reports about me that got published in a number of newspapers. When I was not picked for India in the 2009 Junior World Cup in Singapore, Kailash uncle told me not to lose heart. 'I've seen you playing over the years and you will definitely play for India soon,' he said. And I did," Valmiki told MiD DAY.
Kailash had a keen eye for the game, having represented his school, Our Lady of Dolours High School (Marine Lines) followed by club stints with Vasai Eskimos, Thane District Hockey Association and Bombay Republicans.
"He always encouraged youngsters to play on the MHA astro turf which was Mumbai's only artificial hockey surface. Few know that he was a good midfielder too," said Republicans boss Marzban 'Bawa' Patel.
"Not many appreciated Kailash's hard work here. But, such was his commitment that I'm sure he'll be supervising the ongoing refurbishment work at the MHA Stadium from above," a MHA official said.