Balbir Singh Sr December 31, 1923 to May 25, 2020: In honour of a legend who redefined Indian hockey

India woke as much as the tragic information of the passing of Balbir Singh Dosanjh or Balbir Singh Sr, as he was popularly generally known as within the sporting group.

A legend in subject hockey, Balbir Singh Sr. was maybe a reputation which not many would point out of their all-time biggest Indian athletes checklist however his identify ought to truly be taken in the identical vein as Major Major Dhyan Chand, Sachin Tendulkar, and so on.

Balbir Singh’s contribution to subject hockey, particularly for impartial India, was unparalleled. Today’s technology won’t pay attention to this reality however Balbir Singh Sr. was a large in his sport and essentially the most embellished athlete in Indian sports activities historical past with Olympic medals in 1948, 1952 and 1956 Summer Games.

His achievements transcend the three Olympic medals as a result of simply his affect in subject hockey, identical to Dhyan Chand, was one thing that can’t be measured in mere phrases.

Regarded as the best centre-forward within the sport, Balbir Singh Sr and dash legend Milkha Singh had been so in style that they by no means required an appointment to satisfy the Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. “It’s true. We could meet him at short notice. He loved hockey,” Balbir Singh Sr had as soon as stated.


Balbir Singh Sr. performed a key position in all three gold-medal profitable performances within the Summer Games. His document for essentially the most variety of objectives scored in an Olympic males’s hockey closing stands to this present day when he hammered 5 objectives in India’s 6-1 victory over the Netherlands within the Gold medal match of the 1952 Helsinki Games.

Under his Captaincy, India scored 38 objectives and conceded none on its method to the Gold medal in 1956 Melbourne Olympics.

Beating England 4-Zero in their very own yard in the course of the Final of the 1948 Olympic Games as an impartial nation was Balbir Sr’s ‘biggest second’.

Balbir Singh Sr can also be the one Asian male and solely Indian amongst 16 athletes to be chosen as “Iconic Olympians” by the International Olympic Committee throughout the trendy Olympics’ historical past. He was one of many 16 iconic Olympians chosen[19] whose instance “tells of human strength and endeavour, of passion, determination, hard work and achievement and demonstrates the values of the Olympic Movement”

He was additionally a member of the Indian hockey crew that received the silver medal on the 1958 Asian Games.


Not solely was he one of many biggest hockey gamers however was additionally probably the most profitable coaches that India has ever had.

He coached the Indian crew which received the Bronze Medal on the 1971 World Cup and was Manager of the Indian crew that received the Gold Medal on the 1975 World Cup.

For Balbir Singh Sr’s stellar contribution to the sport, he was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian honour in 1957 and was conferred with the Major Dhyan Chand Life Time Achievement Award by Hockey India in 2014.

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