Winner of three Olympic Gold medals and a hockey legend, Balbir Singh passed away at a private hospital in Chandigarh today. The legend was 95 years old and is survived by a daughter and three sons.
Balbir Singh has been in the hospital since May 8th
Balbir Singh had been in the hospital since May 8th this year. The legend has been fighting a pulmonary illness for the last two years and had been admitted several times to the intensive care during this period.
In the latest admission, it is said that Balbir Singh endured multiple heart attacks. As per the statement from the doctors, the former hockey player passed away at 6:30 am this morning.
One of the finest that the country has produced
Balbir Singh is considered one of the greatest sportsmen that the country has ever produced. He won 3 Olympic Golds for India, including a memorable achievement in 1956 when he also captained the team. Balbir was also the manager of the team which won the World Cup in 1975.
In 1952, against Holland, Balbir Singh scored five goals in the final, a record that still exists for the highest ever score by an individual in a men’s hockey final. India eventually won the game 6-1.
In 1957, the Government honored the legend with a Padma Shri, and hence, Balbir Singh became the first ever hockey professional to receive the award. In 1977, Balbir Singh released his autobiography called ‘The Golden Hat Trick: My Hockey Days’.
After bringing down the curtains to his hockey career, he also served as Secretary of the Punjab State Sports Council and Director of Sports in the Punjab Government and then retired from his duty in 1992.
Source: India Times