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Olympic medal record
Men's field hockey
Representing  British India
Gold medal – first place 1932 Los Angeles Team competition
Gold medal – first place 1936 Berlin Team competition
Indian Hockey Team - 1936 Berlin Olympics
Sayed Mohammad Jaffar Shah, standing, 6th from left in this group photo of British Indian Hockey Team during the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin.

Sayed Mohammad Jaffar Shah (December 1911 – 21 March 1937) was a British Indian field hockey player who competed in the 1932 Summer Olympics and 1936 Summer Olympics.[1]

Early life and education

He was born in Shergarh, District Montgomery, British India (now in Okara District, Punjab, Pakistan). Jaffar received his education at the Aitchison College, Lahore and at the Government College, Lahore.

Playing career

In 1932 he was a member of the All India team that represented the country in field hockey at the 1932 Summer Olympics. The team won the gold medal. He played two matches as left-out.[2]

Four years later in 1936, he was again the member of the All India field hockey team. The team again won the gold medal for field hockey at the 1936 Summer Olympics. He played five matches as left-out.

Death & memory

He died as a result of a drowning accident on banks of river Ravi, near Lahore, on 21 March 1937.[3][4]

A hockey pavilion was constructed at the Aitchison College Lahore in 1939 as a tribute to the memory of Jaffar and his services to field hockey in British India.

Jaffar Memorial hockey tournament is organised annually by Ali Institute of Education in Lahore.

Grave and epitaph

Tombstone of Syed Mohammad Jaffar

The inscription in Urdu language on the gravestone reads:

"Syed Mohammad Jaffar Shah Kirmani son of Syed Nawazish Hussain Shah Kirmani, Date of Birth: December 1911, Date of Death: 21 March 1937.

"(Late) Syed Mohammad Jaffar was one of the greatest players of (field) hockey, who was selected to the 1928 United India (All India) Olympics (field) hockey team but he could not participate in that global event due to his youthful age. In 1932, he was a member of the All India (field) hockey team that participated in Los Angeles (US) Olympics. He was considered one of the best players in the world on 'left-out' position although he was one of the youngest. He participated once again in the 1936 Olympics as vice-captain. Out of magnanimity of his heart, he decided not to be a candidate for the captaincy in favour of Dhyan Chand, although initially, he was being considered as captain of this victorious team because of his professionalism and skill level. He was not only a brilliant sportsman and a great representative (plus an asset) of the country but also a figure of exemplary mannerism and conduct.

"On the fateful evening of 21 March 1937, while on an hunting expedition on river Ravi near Lakho Dehar, he accidentally gave his life away to the river. He saddened his huge fan following and opted to respond to the call of the God.

"Gravestone laid down by Syed Javed Hassan son of (Late) Syed Mohammad Hassan."

An Urdu verse is also inscribed on the tombstone:

وہی جواں ہے قبیلے کی آنکھ کا تارا شباب جس کا ہو بے داغ ضرب ہو کاری


  1. ^ "Mohammed Jaffar". 1 January 2002. Archived from the original on 11 October 2012. Retrieved 5 November 2020.
  2. ^ "Mohammed Jaffar". 1 January 2002. Archived from the original on 11 October 2012. Retrieved 5 November 2020.
  3. ^ "Mohammed Jaffar". 1 October 2001. Retrieved 14 June 2022.
  4. ^