Leslie Walter Claudius
Personal information
Born (1927-03-25)25 March 1927
Bilaspur, British India
Died 20 December 2012(2012-12-20) (aged 85)
Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Height 5 ft 4 in (163 cm)
Playing position Halfback
Senior career
Years Team
Bengal Nagpur Railway
Calcutta Customs
National team
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1948–1960 India 100+
Medal record
Men's Field Hockey
Representing  India
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1948 London Team
Gold medal – first place 1952 Helsinki Team
Gold medal – first place 1956 Melbourne Team
Silver medal – second place 1960 Rome Team
Asian Games
Silver medal – second place 1958 Tokyo Team

Leslie Walter Claudius (25 March 1927[1] – 20 December 2012[2]) was an Indian field hockey player[3] from Bilaspur. He studied in South Eastern Railway (Now SECR) English Medium School Bilaspur which has produced many national sportsmen.

Leslie Claudius shares with Udham Singh the distinction of being one of only two Indian players to win four Olympic medals in field hockey. To his gold medals in 1948, 1952 and 1956, he added silver in 1960 when he captained the team. He was the first player ever to earn 100 caps, and competed for India, in addition to the Olympics, on their European tour of 1949, Malaysian tour of 1952, Australian and New Zealand tours of 1955, and at the 3rd Asian Games in 1958. After the 1960 Olympics, he continued to compete domestically, retiring after the 1965 season. In 1971, he became the sixth Indian hockey player to be given the Padma Shri Civil award by the Indian government.

Leslie Claudius had joined Calcutta Customs Department as Preventive Officer and retired as Assistant Collector of Customs. He was a member of Calcutta Customs Club and represented the Calcutta Port Customs Commissionerate in the Aga Khan Tournament in 1948. Leslie Claudius not only brought international glory but also kept the Calcutta Customs Club flag flying high.[1]


Early career

Claudius was initially interested in football and as an accomplished player, he got a chance to play for the Bengal and Nagpur Railway. But, his talent in field hockey was spotted by Dickie Carr, who was a part of the Indian team that won the gold medal at the 1936 Olympics. Claudius was then inducted into the Bengal and Nagpur Railway hockey team that Carr was a part of. The team finished second in the Beighton Cup and Claudius quit football for hockey.[4]

International career

Claudius was a member of India's generation of hockey that won the Olympic gold in 1948, 1952 and 1956 and silver in 1960.[1] He was the first hockey player to have competed in four Olympics and also the first to earn a hundred international caps.[5] He captained the Indian team for the first team in 1959, with Dhyan Chand, often considered India's greatest hockey player ever as the coach, and led them to the second-place finish at the 1960 Olympics in Rome.[4]

Helsinki Olympic Gold Medal Winning Team with Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru In 1952

Team Manager

Claudius was appointed as the manager of the Indian team in 1978 for the Bangkok Asian Games.

Personal life

Claudius was of Anglo-Indian descent. His son, Robert, was also an Indian international who represented his country at the World Cup in Argentina in 1978. Leslie died after a prolonged battle with cirrhosis of liver.[6] Leslie had three more sons, one who stayed with him in Kolkata and two who live in Melbourne. His son Robert (Bobby) Claudius played Hockey World Cup in Argentina for India in 1978; he died the same year in Kolkata (then Calcutta) in a road accident.

Awards and recognition

Leslie Claudius Sarani, a road named after Claudius


Claudius died in Kolkata on 20 December 2012, after a prolonged battle with cirrhosis of liver. He was survived by his wife and three sons. He is buried in Lower Circular Road cemetery, Kolkata.

See also


  1. ^ a b c Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Leslie Claudius". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  2. ^ "Hockey legend Leslie Claudius passes away". DNA India. PTI. 20 December 2012. Archived from the original on 24 December 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  3. ^ "OUR SPORTSMEN". 123india.com. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 27 September 2007.
  4. ^ a b "Leslie Claudius Profile". Iloveindia. Archived from the original on 31 July 2013. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  5. ^ "Football's envy, hockey's pride". Sportstar. Archived from the original on 6 October 2007. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  6. ^ "End of an era: Hockey legend Leslie Claudius passes away after prolonged illness". India Today. IANS. 21 December 2012. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  7. ^ "Indian hockey great Leslie Claudius passes away". Firstpost. FP sports. 20 December 2012. Archived from the original on 22 December 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  8. ^ "An honour". The Hindu. 2 August 2011. Archived from the original on 29 September 2021. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  9. ^ "Bengal hockey needs to get its act together".
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Twitter. Archived from the original on 14 July 2022. Retrieved 14 July 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "'Drive-by vaccination camp opens at Mandan, two more on the anvil'". The Indian Express. 10 June 2021. Archived from the original on 14 July 2022. Retrieved 14 July 2022.