PM Narendra Modi pays rich tribute to hockey legend Balbir Singh Senior
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday paid rich tribute to Indian hockey legend Balbir Singh Senior, who passed away at the age of 96 years. “Padma Shri Balbir Singh Sr. Ji will be remembered for his memorable sporting performances. He brought home lots of pride and laurels. Undoubtedly a brilliant hockey player, he also made a mark as a great mentor. Pained by his demise. Condolences to his family and well wishers,” the prime minister wrote on Twitter.
Balbir Singh guided India to three gold medals at the Olympics and was also the manager of the team that won the 1975 Hockey World Cup.
The three-time Olympic gold medallist was in a semi-comatose state since May 18 and had developed a blood clot in his brain after being first admitted to the hospital for bronchial pneumonia with high fever.
Watch : Indian hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr passes away; PM Modi, Akshay Kumar pay tribute
He was hospitalised after experiencing high fever and suffered three cardiac arrests during the course of his treatment. One of the country’s most accomplished athletes, the iconic centre-forward was the only Indian among 16 legends chosen by the International Olympic Committee across modern Olympic history.
His world record for most goals scored by an individual in the men’s hockey final of the Olympics still remains unbeaten.
He had scored five goals in India’s 6-1 victory over the Netherlands in the gold medal match of the 1952 Helsinki Games. He was conferred with the Padma Shri in 1957.
Balbir Sr’s three Olympic gold medals came in London (1948), Helsinki (1952) as vice-captain, and Melbourne (1956) as captain.
He was also the manager of India’s only World Cup-winning side in 1975.
(With PTI inputs...)