Hockey Legend Balbir Singh Senior, Greatest Ever Centre-Forward, Passes Away


Mohali: Three-time Olympic gold-medallist Balbir Singh Senior passed away at 6:17 am here on Monday morning. He was 96 and undergoing treatment at a Mohali hospital.

Singh had been battling multiple health issues for the past few weeks and was admitted to the hospital on May 8 after contracting bronchial pneumonia. He had high fever and was on ventilator support after a blood clot developed in his brain, according to media reports.

He was a member of Indian hockey teams which won back-to-back gold medals in the 1948 London Olympics, 1952 Helsinki Games and 1956 Melbourne Olympics. While he was vice-captain of the 1952 Olympic team, he was skipper of the 1956 side.

He scored five goals in India’s 6-1 win over Holland in the 1952 Olympic final — which is still a world record for most goals scored by an individual in an Olympic men’s hockey final.

Regarded as the greatest centre-forwards of all time, Singh was also dubbed as the ‘modern-day Dhyan Chand’. After hanging up his playing boots, he went on to coach the Indian team which won the 1975 World Cup title.

He was one of International Olympic Committee’s 16 iconic Olympians whose example “tells of human strength and endeavour, of passion, determination, hard work and achievement and demonstrates the values of the Olympic Movement”


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