No state honour for Leslie Claudius; funeral to be held on Sunday

Claudius is survived by his wife Vilia and three sons. He used to live with his youngest son, Brandon, at a rented flat on the second floor of a mansion on the McLeod Street. He had even lost his three Olympic gold medals and his only possession was a scooter that he had gifted to an attender at his Customs Club.

Reported by: Press Trust of India
Last updated on Friday, 21 December, 2012 21:37 IST
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Kolkata: The mortal remains of legendary hockey player Leslie Claudius will be kept at Rabindra Sadan for public veneration on Sunday afternoon followed by his funeral at the Lower Circular road cemetery but there would be no state honour for the three-time Olympic gold medallist. (File Photo: Claudius on the extreme left)

There would be a funeral procession followed by a public veneration but the government has not planned any state honours, said West Bengal sports minister Madan Mitra.

"We are doing everything in consultation with his family. Nobody has told me about state honours," Mitra said.

Claudius is survived by his wife Vilia and three sons. He used to live with his youngest son, Brandon, at a rented flat on the second floor of a mansion on the McLeod Street. He had even lost his three Olympic gold medals and his only possession was a scooter that he had gifted to an attender at his Customs Club.

He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1971 but he did not get any recognition in the state.

Former legendary footballer, P K Banerjee said, "Even at the 2012 Olympics, organisers had temporarily renamed Bushey Railway Station in London after Claudius but here nobody recognises his contribution."

Claudius would be laid to rest near his third son Robert's grave at the Lower Circular Road Cemetery.

Robert, promising hockey player died in a road accident following his return from the 1978 World Cup in Mexico. Claudius passed away yesterday afternoon after a prolonged illness and his body was today shifted to the Peace Heaven from where a procession would begin on Sunday at 10.40am.

"The procession will first head to his club Calcutta Customs and then the Veteran's Club before reaching Rabindra Sadan where the body will be kept for one-and-half and hour," his son Brandon told PTI.

The procession is expected to reach Rabindra Sadan at 12.45pm where many dignitaries including Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and former Olympians are expected to pay their tributes.

"The state government is organising everything so many top dignitaries including Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee are expected to come and pay their last homage to Claudius at the Rabindra Sadan," Bengal Hockey Association secretary Gurbux Singh said.

From Rabindra Sadan, the funeral procession will head to St Paul's Cathedral where there would be a mass before Claudius' final journey to the Lower Circular Road Cemetery in Mullick Bazar where the body would be laid to rest at 2.30pm.

The legendary Olympian's two Australia-based sons, Bojo (Leslie Junior) and Richard, arrived last night.

Story first published on: Friday, 21 December 2012 21:34 IST

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