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Home / Other Sports / Role models like him come rare: Sporting fraternity mourns death of hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr

Role models like him come rare: Sporting fraternity mourns death of hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr

Tributes poured in from different quarters for the hockey player who had played major roles in India’s gold medal-winning run in the 1948 London Olympics, 1952 Hesinki Olympics and 1956 Melbourne Olympics.

other-sports Updated: May 25, 2020 12:03 IST
hindustantimes.com
hindustantimes.com
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
(File Photo) Veteran hockey Olympian Balbir Singh Senior,with his three Olympic madels and one Padam Shiri
(File Photo) Veteran hockey Olympian Balbir Singh Senior,with his three Olympic madels and one Padam Shiri(HT Photo)

India’s legendary hockey player and a three-time Olympics gold medallist Balbir Singh Sr passed away on Monday at Chandigarh after battling multiple health issues for over two weeks. Tributes poured in from different quarters for the hockey player who had played major roles in India’s gold medal-winning run in the 1948 London Olympics, 1952 Helsinki Olympics and 1956 Melbourne Olympics.

PICTURES: Balbir Singh Sr passes away: A look back at historic career of Hockey legend

“Saddened to hear of the demise of one of India’s most celebrated Olympians, Balbir Singh Sr. Athletes and role models such as him come very rarely, and it was an honour to know him, and I hope his example will continue to inspire athletes from around the world!” wrote Abhinav Bindra on twitter.

 

“Today, we have not only lost our greatest hockey legend but we have also lost ‘our guiding light’. While his achievements in the post-independent era have been well-documented, Balbir Sr remained the greatest fan of the sport and was always there when we needed his advice. Hockey has lost its brightest star and everyone at Hockey India is pained by this news,” said Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad, President, Hockey India.

Hockey India’s Secretary General Rajinder Singh too expressed his condolence. “Balbir Sr’s achievements in hockey cannot be emulated. It is difficult to mention him in past-tense because for us he was always there.”

In a tweet Shastri said, “#BalBirSingh Ji- A True Giant and a half in his field. Hockey legend out and out. Condolences.”

 

Former skipper of the Indian hockey team, Viren Rasquinha also took to Twitter to condole the demise of Balbir Singh.

“Very sad to hear of the demise of legendary Olympian Balbir Singh Sr, 3 time Olympic gold medallist. This was from my last meeting with him in Delhi. He was always smiling, so mentally alert, and such a thorough gentleman. What a fine role model,” Viren Rasquinha tweeted.

 

The veteran hockey player had suffered a cardiac arrest on May 12 and after that, he suffered two more cardiac arrests during the course of his admission in the hospital.

“Balbir Singh passed away this morning,” his grandson Kabir said in a statement on Monday.

Balbir Singh was a three-time Olympic gold champion. He played a key role in India’s Olympic victories in London (1948), as a vice-captain in Helsinki (1952) and as the captain in Melbourne (1956).

In his illustrious playing career from 1947-1958, Balbir Sr. won 61 international caps and scored a whopping 246 goals. He was also the manager of the 1975 World Cup-winning team.

(With agency inputs)

ht epaper

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