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London's tribute to Dhyan Chand

india Updated: Aug 23, 2011 23:21 IST

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A newly-laid Astro-turf hockey pitch, at a cost of £250,000, (R 1.88 crore) at the Indian Gymkhana Club in London has been named after Indian hockey legend Dhyan Chand.

Major Dhyan 'Chand' Singh, better known as Dhyan Chand was widely regarded as the world's greatest field hockey player of all time.

A legendary centre-forward, he is remembered for his goal-scoring feats, first as a player and later as captain. Chand won three Olympic gold medals (1928 Amsterdam, 1932 Los Angeles, 1936 Berlin) and was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian honour, in 1956.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the new pitch, Prof Nat Puri, President of the Gymkhana Club said, "The pitch is another step in the direction to provide better sporting facilities at the club."

Chand joined the Indian Army at the age of 16, in 1922. It was in informal matches in the regiment that Subedar-Major Bale Tiwari noticed his dribbling skills. A keen enthusiast of the game, Tiwari recognised Chand's talent. He became his mentor and laid the foundations of his technique.

Councillor Jagdish Sharma said Indian community here feels “very proud of the Club”.