The Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 86, Malaysia’s state-run BERNAMA news agency reported.

Sultan Azlan Shah, who reigned over the Malay state of Perak for three decades, was an avid fan of field hockey and was known for the Azlan Shah Cup, an annual hockey tournament, which was named after him.

In 1997, Sultan Azlan Shah was elected the President of the Asian Hockey Federation, a position he held until his demise. He also served as the President of the Malaysian Hockey Federation until 2005.

The President of the EHF, Marijke Fleuren, said of the Sultan Azlan Shah “It is rare to be born into a life of such privilege and then to use that life in such a positive way for everybody. He was a wise man, observing very carefully everybody around him. We are lucky as a sport that he loved hockey and dedicated himself to the improvement of our sport through better coaching and development worldwide, but also by setting standards for justice. He was a long-time friend and supporter of the EHF, it was our honour to invite him in 2007 to be a EHF Member of Honour. Speaking at the time of the award the Sultan said “I accept this honour not as a personal achievement award but an award for the Asian Hockey Federation — an honour to be shared by all of us here today.”

Azlan will be laid to rest Thursday afternoon at the royal mausoleum in Kuala Kangsar.

On behalf of the European Hockey family, we extend our deepest condolences to the Sultan’s family.

We will never forget him. RIP