May 26, 1935 – September 28, 2022
Amar was born on 26 April 1935 in Nara Moro, Kenya and studied at Government Indian Primary School, Nairobi and the Government Indian High School, Nairobi (later became Duke of Gloucester School in the mid 1950s) He played hockey for his school teams and also played at Sandiford Road Railway Landies Hockey Club.
Amar Singh Mangat, who represented Kenya at Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games, died in Calgary, Canada on Wednesday 28 September 2022. He was aged 87.
He joined Sikh Union Club Nairobi, one of the leading Club in Africa a the time in 1953. He was nominated by the Club for selection for Melbourne 1956 Olympic Games as a center-forward (All Clubs were asked to nominate players in1956).
He made it to the last 22 players shortlisted for Rome 1960 Olympic Games; this time he was a right inner. He was selected in Kenya’s tour of Pakistan in 1962 and earned his first international cap for Kenya when he was selected to play against Olympic and Asian Champions Pakistan in Lahore on 7 December 1962. He played as a right winger.
He was a member of the Kenya tour of India in April 1964 and selected for Kenya’s Team at Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games. He played as an inside forward and scored three goals at the Olympics, with Kenya finishing sixth, her best position at Olympic Games.
Amar received the accolade of Sikh Union Club Nairobi’s Sportsman of the year in 1968. He was made a Life Member of the Club in 1969 for services rendered as a player and administrator. He was presented with the Life Membership Certificate by Mr Charles Mbathi, Chairman of the Kenya Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association during a Hockey event on 6 June 1969.
Avtar Singh Sohal (Tari), Kenya’s captain from 1962 – 1972 said “We played hockey both for Sikh Union and Kenya for many years. He was a great friend and we shared many unforgettable memories together. He was a very hard working and pleasant person. I enjoyed being with him and he was a good companion. We will miss him. Our heartfelt condolences to the family and hockey fraternity.”
Norman Dacosta, former hockey correspondent of Daily Nation (Kenya), now residing in Canada, had this to say: “It’s hard to believe that dashing right-winger Amar Singh Mangat represented Kenya at only one Olympic Games. One would think he would have been at two or three, but for some reason it was just one. Amar was a brilliant forward for Nairobi Sikh Union and won several trophies, including the M.R. de Souza Gold Cup, on several occasions for the most dominant field hockey club in East Africa. I covered Amar’s exploits on the local and international scene for several years for the Daily Nation, East Africa’s most widely read newspaper. Amar, who stood 6-foot, used his height and speed to good use and was a thorn in the defence of many teams. Amar was a gentleman on and off the field and was respected in sporting circles. Amar will be missed by all who played with and against him – a thorough and classy gentleman.”