Ozwald D'Souza's death leaves city hockey poorer
His affable nature, generous spirit and big heart saw him promote hockey to an extent that Olympian Joaquim Carvalho called Ozzie a pillar of Mumbai hockey
True sportspersons are those who continue being involved with his or her sport through nurturing and grooming of the younger generation.
Ozwald D'Souza (Ozzie to friends), who passed away on Sunday at 55 through complications arising out of a brief illness, sat well in this category.
His hockey passion was only matched by his passion for life. He lived life like he played his game—with flair and flamboyance—that endeared him to players and non-players.
His affable nature, generous spirit and big heart saw him promote hockey to an extent that Olympian Joaquim Carvalho called Ozzie a pillar of Mumbai hockey. Carvalho's Mumbai and India teammate, Merwyn Fernandes remembered Ozzie playing the game with unlimited passion while Claudius de Sales, a FIH judge at the 2012 London Olympics, called "friendly" Ozzie a "super dribbler."
When the future of his Dadar-based beloved Ave Maria club appeared bleak what with players ageing, Ozzie drew on his connections and contacts to bring players from Punjab and UP.
Many players owe their exposure in the city's hockey scene to Ozzie. After all, he managed two teams in the Mumbai hockey league—Ave Maria and Hockey Dadar.
Ozzie leaves behind his family which includes his wife and two sons, who are excelling in football.
Sunday mornings would be spent playing hockey at Dadar's Our Lady of Salvation High School. But the cruel flick of death proved a decisive factor in Ozzie's game of life. He will be more than just missed.
By Andrew R Fernandes (Friend and fellow hockey lover)
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