Full name: Leo Hillary Knowles Pinto
Born: April 11, 1914 in Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
Died: August 10, 2010 in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Affiliations: House of Tatas
Medals: 1 Gold (1 Total)
Although born in Kenya Leo Pinto’s roots lay in the former Portuguese colony of Goa on India’s south west coast. He left Kenya for Mumbai at the age of eight and at school showed talent in specialist positions across a number of sports. He played goalkeeper at both hockey and football and wicket keeper at cricket for his school St Stanislaus. He later starred in goal at St. Xavier's College in what was then Bombay (Mumbai).
Pinto was poised to make his Olympic debut for India at the 1936 Olympic Games but a serious concussion sustained at one of the final trial matches ruled him out of contention for Berlin and instead he had to wait twelve years until the London Games of 1948 before appearing at an Olympics. Pinto played in three of India’s five games in London, including the final, and conceded only one goal. His 1948 season also saw him winning several trophies in the All-India Tournaments - the Beighton Cup in Kolkata; the Aga Khan Cup; the Mumbai Invitation Cup; the Gold Cup in Gwalior; and the Obaidullah Khan Cup in Bhopal.
He played for Byculla Rovers, Lusitanians and the Tata Sports Club in a club career that lasted 35 years, playing in the All-Indian Tournament for a record 33 consecutive years, and after retirement become a coach. Pinto was part of the committee that selected the Indian side for the 1972 Olympics. At the peak of his powers he was considered by many to be the best goalkeeper in the world.
|1948 Summer||34||London||Hockey||Men's Hockey||India||IND||1||Gold|
|1948 Summer||34||London||Hockey||India||IND||Final Standings||1||1948-07-31||3||0|
|1948 Summer||34||London||Hockey||India||IND||Final Round||Match 1/2||1||1948-08-12||IND 4, GBR 0||0|
|1948 Summer||34||London||Hockey||India||IND||Semi-Finals||Match #1||1||1948-08-09||IND 2, NED 1||0|
|1948 Summer||34||London||Hockey||India||IND||Group A||Match #3||1||1948-08-04||IND 9, ARG 1||0|