PETALING JAYA: Former Malaysian hockey player Wilfred “Freddy” Vias died today, aged 93.
The former Olympian died peacefully in his Petaling Jaya home at 1.45pm.
Famously known as “Uncle Freddy”, he became the captain of the Federation of Malaya Hockey Team in 1954, and powered his team to reach the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne.
Wilfred’s contribution to national hockey did not end on the field, as he also served as secretary to both the Johor Hockey Association (1950 to 1953) and the Negeri Sembilan Hockey Association (1956 to 1957).
According to the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM), he played a significant role in the development of Malaysian sports, serving in various capacities at the youth and sports ministry and eventually becoming director-general of the National Sports Council.
“The passing of Wilfred Vias is a great loss to the sporting fraternity in Malaysia. May his soul rest in peace,” the OCM said.
In 2004, Wilfred was inducted into the OCM Hall of Fame for his contribution to the development of Malaysian sports.
According to his friend Kuldip Singh, a former national tennis player, Wilfred was a true sportsman who led by example.
“A beautiful close friendship developed between us over the last 38 years. Although I’m very sad, I have to say that Uncle Freddy has had a full and wonderful life. He was a true sportsman.”