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Hockey ace Dilip Tirkey weds

February 06, 2006 17:37 IST

India's hockey captain Dilip Tirkey entered into wedlock with local girl Meera at a Catholic church in Hamirpur, Rourkela on Monday.

Bishop Alphonse Bilung solemnized the marriage as the ace defender and his fiancée exchanged vows.

The solemn wedding mass lasted about two hours.

Tirkey, clad in a smart suit, came to the church in a procession, accompanied by tribal drummers and young dancers.

The newly-married couple then went to the bride's residence in Jagada area, where her father Ishodore Tirkey, himself a hockey player, hosted a reception for around 5000 guests.

Orissa's Minister of State for Sport and Youth Affairs Debasis Nayak and Indian hockey stars Lazarus Barla, Prabodh Tirkey, William Xalxo and Bimal Lakra were present at the wedding.

The wedding of one of Orissa's greatest ever sports personalities was somewhat mired in controversy after some family members and a section of the tribal community expressed resentment over the match.

The hockey ace had, however, earlier dismissed the controversy as "trivial", saying the wedding would take place as planned.

"My mother was misled by some people, but now everything is fine," he told newsmen on Saturday night.

"The church and the community have cleared the marriage and hence there is no problem," he said.

Tirkey said he knew Meera since the last three years and they had planned to marry.

"But some people raised a hue and cry and tried to create confusion."

Emerging out of the church after the nuptials, he said he would now have to prepare for the upcoming Indo-Pak six-Test series.

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