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Rediff.com  » Sports » No state honour for Claudius; funeral to be held on Sunday

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

Last updated on: December 21, 2012 21:43 IST

The mortal remains of legendary hockey player Leslie Claudius will be kept at Rabindra Sadan in Kolkata for public veneration on Sunday afternoon followed by his funeral at the Lower Circular road cemetery but there would not be state honour for the three-time Olympic gold medallist.

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.

- 'Leslie Claudius was clearly a man of method'

"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.

Leslie ClaudiusHe 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.

- Leslie Claudius: The glory days

Claudius passed away on Thursday 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 said.

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 on Thursday night.

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