Anglo-Indian Broome E Pinniger, India’s hockey captain in the 1928 Olympics final who was part of the gold-medal-winning team in 1932, and 1928 champion Feroz Khan, who later migrated to Pakistan, are coming together again.
They’ll be joined by 42 other hockey Olympic medallists who played for Punjab in the pre-Partition days to post-Independence era. They are going be featured in the Punjab Olympic Association (POA) ‘Hall of Fame’ to be ready by November at POA Bhawan in SAS Nagar (Mohali). India’s lone individual Olympic gold medallist, Abhinav Bindra, triple-gold medallist hockey player Balbir Singh Senior, sprinter Milkha Singh, and 1924 athlete brigadier Dalip Singh, first from the state to compete in the quadrennial games, will also get a prominent place.
The POA will be the first state Olympic body to have a ‘Hall of Fame’ displaying photographs of the Punjab’s sporting legends along with their profiles and trivia related to the state’s contribution to the country’s Olympic history. The families of the late Olympians and many living medallists will donate memorabilia to the project.
“We have included all the Olympic and sporting greats from the undivided-Punjab times to present. The ‘Hall of Fame’ belongs to any player who has represented the state in the senior National Games at least once,” said former director general of police RS Gill, who is senior vice-president of the POA and chairman of the ‘Hall of Fame’ Committee. “The main hurdle was gathering information from pre-Independence era. We have been working on it for 18 months and the research is almost done. We will develop the photographs, and by November be ready,” he added.
The Arjuna Award recipients and other national sports award winners from the state will also be included. “Our focus is on the Olympics, Asian Gamers, and Commonwealth Games. But great players from non-Olympic disciplines will find a mention. We want to preserve our sporting legacy at one place to inspiration the future generations,” said POA secretary-general Raja KS Sidhu.