A pall of gloom descended on the Pune hockey fraternity over the demise of former former national hockey player, official, and administrator Benjamin (Benny) James Boodle. Affectonately known as ‘Benny’ in sports circles, he was laid low by prolonged illness – he was 83. Benny turned on the style in the domestic hockey circuit, representing Maharashtra in the Junior Nationals as well as in the Senior Nationals. He also captained the Maharashtra Hockey team and was the youngest player to play for Maharashtra at the Senior Nationals.
He was selected by the prestigious Mohan Bagan Club when his hockey prowess was spotted during the All-India University Championship. Benny also has the distinction of being Pune’s first hockey player to represent India in a bilateral Varsity Tourney in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in the 50s.
Benny also achieved excellence as a hockey official and administrator – he was an FIH-appointed judge at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia. He also served as Secretary of the now-defunct Maharashtra Hockey Association (MHA) for six years in the late 90s. He also coached the Maharashtra team was and was the President of the All India Babasaheb Ambedkar Hockey Committee. Benny is survived by his wife Florence and two siblings.