Former forward Mervyn Fernandes has welcomed the Hockey India's decision to felicitate 34 living Olympic gold medallists at a ceremony in Delhi later this month.
"It would be great occasion to meet up with our old teammates like (Sylvanus) Dung Dung and also be personally present to offer our wishes to the current squad during the send-off on June 24th," Mervyn, a member of the Vasudevan Bhaskaran-led 1980 squad that last won a medal of any hue, let alone gold, in hockey at the Olympics, told PTI.
"Narinder Batra (HI secretary-general) contacted me yesterday to ask whether I would make it to the felicitation function and I told him I would be present," said Mervyn who added that another 1980 Moscow Games team member, M M Somaya, also has drawn plans to be present at the function.
Each one of the living gold medal winning hockey Olympian is to be given a one-time cash benefit of Rs 2 lakh, Batra said on Friday.
Mervyn said apart from the gold medal winners, those who have got silver and bronze medals in hockey at the Olympics deserved to be rewarded.
"The 1960 (Rome), the 1968 (Mexico City) and 1972 (Munich) teams also deserve to be felicitated.
But with the paucity of funds (with HI), you have to draw the line somewhere," said the 52-year-old former inside right who formed a deadly frontline combination with the likes of Mohd Shahid and Zafar Iqbal in his heydays.