Pakistan's Fastest Man, John Permal, Passed Away At 72. Here’s How His Son Remembers Him

By Rameeza Ahmad | 28 Mar, 2019

John Permal was once Pakistan’s fastest man.


John Permal was born in 1946 in pre-partition Karachi. A student at St. Patrick’s, John Permal used to sprint from his home in Saddar to school every day. Later on, he attributed his achievements in sports to the encouragement he had received from school coach, Jacob Harris.


John Permal was Pakistan’s undisputed fastest man from the years 1964 to 1974 where he successfully represented the country internationally


In 1965, he finished second to a German in the National Games in Lahore but was declared as the fastest Pakistani in the competition. He retained the title in the 100-meter category till in 1973.

He represented Pakistan in Germany, in the Asian Games in the years 1966 and 1970 as well as in the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh in 1970.


His son, Anthony Permal, announced his father’s passing yesterday


John Permal had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer 10 months ago

Doctors had given him a few weeks to live but he fought the disease for 10 months, according to his son’s tweets.


Just a few days ago, his son had made a heartwarming Twitter thread on who John Permal was; a loving father, a caring husband and an all-around amazing man.

He highlighted how he enjoyed literature, music and jokes. He touched upon his father’s career after retiring from professional sports, as a travel agent in Saudi Arabia and then in Dubai.

While his father may not have earned a big salary, Anthony said, he gave his children and siblings an amazing life. But the man Anthony described with his tweets sounded larger than life.

Someone who had a good time making everyone laugh.

A true lover of literature.

He ended the thread with an adorable picture of him as a child with his father.

The entire thread was touching; a son celebrating his father’s life. For many John Permal was a seasoned serious athlete, but with Anthony’s thread, people got to know about a different side of the man who once held the title of being the country’s fastest sprinter.



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