He’s won many battles in life but this one will count the most. Mohammed Shahid, considered as one of India’s best to have played the game, is battling for his life in the ICU of a Gurgaon hospital after being diagnosed with severe liver malfunction.Flown in from Varanasi on Wednesday, 56-year-old Shahid was unwell since the start of this year but his condition worsened a few days ago.”There’s a huge problem with his liver and kidneys. We can’t say much at this stage. He wasn’t keeping well for last four or five months but we never thought it will be so serious. He complained of severe stomach ache and things went from bad to worse. There were rumours that he has dengue too but this is not true. I make an appeal to all of his fans to please pray for him,” a worried Mohammad Saif, the only son of hockey Olympian, told INDIA TODAY.The last time Indian hockey team struck gold at summer Olympics in Moscow 36 years ago, Shahid, one of the best players India has ever produced, played a huge role. For years, he was to Indian hockey what Kapil was to his ‘Devils’ in the 80s. “I am really pained to see him in this state. To see such an iconic player suffering so much is extremely unfortunate,” says Zafar Iqbal, former captain of the Indian hockey team.”He is one of the greatest players this country has produced. We (Indian team) became famous because of him. Both of us played together for seven years – at the Olympics, Asian Games and World Cups. He was a star. It seems unbelievable that he is now fighting for his life, can’t speak and is almost unrecognizable due to severe swelling in his stomach and shrunk face. Can’t believe he is the same player. It’s really unfortunate,” Iqbal, who met Shahid’s family at the hospital on Thursday afternoon, added.advertisementGet-well-soon wishes are pouring from all corners of the country but Saif knows that the next 72 hours will be very crucial for his father.”His jaundice is getting worse. The doctors have told us that they can’t think of a liver transplant till next three or four days. Many fans have come forward to support us. I am just praying he recovers soon. So far, nobody from the Sports Ministry or hockey federation have contacted us,” he said.Iqbal, however, promised full support from the hockey fraternity.”If need be, we are all ready to support him. He has tremendous fan-following and we have no doubt that government will also come forward for help if any such situation arises. He is a very senior officer working with the Indian Railways so I don’t think there will be any issue as of now,” said the former captain and chief coach of the Indian hockey team.GOVERNMENT FINALLY OFFERS HELPAs Shahid continues to battle for his life in a Gurgaon hospital, the government has finally acted and offered help to ailing star’s family. Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports tweeted Friday afternoon that he has “issued instructions to his ministry to offer all possible assistance” to Shahid’s family. PILLAY APPEALS Another legend of the sport, Dhanraj Pillay, had on Friday morning appealed to the Prime Minister to intervene. “Shahid bhai is a legend, an icon, someone who made India proud internationally. Indian hockey was known across the world because of players like him. As a person and as a player, he lifted the tricolour high with pride in being an Indian. It is a pity that today not even a single senior political leader has bothered to even enquire about his condition even though he has been in the ICU for two days now. I appeal to our honourable Prime Minister, sports minister, all sports associations and everyone else to please take note of the Shahid bhai’s condition and provide all help possible. We are also trying to mobilise all support from our end,” Pillay said.