Ali Iqtidar Shah Dara
Personal information
Born1 April 1915[1]
Lyallpur (now called Faisalabad), Punjab, British India
Died16 January 1981 at age 65
Olympic medal record
Men's field hockey
Representing  India
Gold medal – first place 1936 Berlin Team competition

Ali Iqtidar Shah Dara (April 1, 1915 – January 16, 1981) was an Indian and later Pakistani field hockey player and the longest-serving hockey manager who competed in the 1936 Summer Olympics and the 1948 Summer Olympics.[1][2]

In 1936, he was a member of the Indian field hockey team, which won the gold medal at the 1936 Summer Olympics.[3] He played two matches as forward. "Dara played in the hockey team at Berlin in 1936 when an undivided India won the gold, defeating the home team Germany (8-1). Sitting in the VIP stand was Chancellor Adolf Hitler, leader of the Nazi party ruling Germany."[4][2]

Dara was also a serving officer in the Indian Army. His army regiment was sent to Malaysia during the Second World War, where Dara was captured.[4]

In 1947, British India was divided into India and Pakistan. Dara, who hailed from West Punjab province of undivided India, opted to live in Pakistan.[4]

Twelve years later he participated in the 1948 tournament for Pakistan as the team captain. Dara was easily the best choice to construct and lead Pakistan's Hockey team to 1948 Summer Olympics. He played all seven matches as forward. They faced Holland in the match for third place, which the two teams drew with a goal each. This match was replayed later, during which Pakistan was defeated 4-1, leaving them in 4th place.[5]

Dara was the manager of the Pakistan Hockey Team at 1976 Montreal Olympic Games where Pakistan won the bronze medal.[2]


  1. ^ a b Profile of Ali Dara at website Retrieved 17 May 2021
  2. ^ a b c Anjum Niaz (11 September 2016). "View from US: The death-spiral of Pakistan hockey". Dawn (newspaper). Retrieved 17 May 2021.
  3. ^ "Ali Dara's Olympic database". 1 August 2006. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 17 May 2021.
  4. ^ a b c Ajay Kamalakaran (14 September 2018). "Ali Iqtidar Shah Dara: a shared India-Pakistan legacy". The Friday Times (newspaper). Retrieved 17 May 2021.
  5. ^ "The Pakistan national hockey team for the London Olympics (1948)". The Friday Times (newspaper). 1 July 2011. Archived from the original on 6 March 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2021.