Indian sports fraternity mourns the death of Hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr

File photo of Hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr with IOA president Narinder Singh
Hockey India along with sportspersons and celebrities mourned the demise of three-time Olympic gold medalist Balbir Singh Sr. The triple Olympic Champion and World Cup-winning team manager had been battling for life since May 8 when he was hospitalised. He was 95.

 

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 stay in the hospital.

 

Balbir Singh achievements

 

He was the most decorated athlete in Indian sports history with Olympic gold medals in 1948, 1952 and 1956 summer games. He coached the Indian team which won the bronze medal at the 1971 World Cup and was manager of the Indian team that won the gold medal at the 1975 World Cup, beating Paksitan 2-1 in the final.

 

Balbir Singh Sr's exemplary achievements, his passion for the sport, his life as an icon of the game will remain an example for generations to come, says Hocket India president. Photo: PTI
He had scored five goals in India's 6-1 victory over the Netherlands in the gold medal match of the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. Under his captaincy, India scored 38 goals and conceded none on its way to the gold medal in 1956 Melbourne Olympics.

 

Beating England 4-0 in its own backyard during the final of the 1948 Olympic Games as an independent nation was Balbir Sr's 'greatest moment'.

 

In his illustrious playing career from 1947-1958, Balbir Sr. won 61 international caps and scored a whopping 246 goals. He topped his record as player by also managing the Indian team to a World Cup win in 1975.

 

Hockey India president

 

"Today, we have not only lost our greatest hockey legend but we have also lost 'our guiding light'. While his achievements in post-independence 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 Hockey India President Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad.

He further said: "Balbir Singh Sr's exemplary achievements, his passion for the sport, his life as an icon of the game will remain an example for generations to come. On behalf of the federation, I express my deepest condolences to his family."

Hockey India extends its condolences to fans, friends and family of the 3-time Olympic Gold Medalist and Padma Shri Awardee, Balbir Singh Sr.#IndiaKaGame #RIP @BalbirSenior

— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) May 25, 2020
 

In 2014, Hockey India felicitated Balbir Singh Sr with lifetime achievement award
Harbhajan Singh

 

Spinner Harbhajan Singh on Monday condoled the demise of veteran hockey player Balbir Singh and said that the legend has to be one of the greatest sporting icons in India.

 

"A doyen of Indian sports Shri Balbir Singh Senior is no more. When you look back at his achievements, you just remain awestruck, 3 Olympic gold medals, five goals in the Olympic final. Manager of the World Cup-winning team, Possibly among India's greatest sporting icons. May his soul rest RIP," Harbhajan tweeted. 

 

A doyen of Indian sports Shri Balbir Singh Senior is no more. When you look back at his achievements,you just remain awestruck

3 olympic gold medals,five goals in Olympic final.

Manager of World Cup winning team

Possibly among India's greatest sporting icons.May his soul rest RIP pic.twitter.com/duSN1LvRWH

— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) May 25, 2020
 

PT Usha

 

Sprinter PT Usha also expressed condolences on the demise of Balbir Singh and said that the hockey legend was an athlete par excellence.

 

"Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Balbir Singh Sr Ji. An athlete par excellence and a role model beyond words! His bestowed hands may strengthen my passions more. My condolences to his family, friends, and fans!#balbirsingh #Balbirhockey," PT Usha tweeted.

Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Balbir Singh Sr ji. An athlete par excellence and a role model beyond words! His bestowed hands may strengthen my passions more. My condolences to his family, friends and fans!#balbirsingh #Balbirhockey pic.twitter.com/figkm8ibBW

— P.T. USHA (@PTUshaOfficial) May 25, 2020
 

Manpreet Singh, India hockey team captain

 

"Rest in Peace to one of the GREATEST and LEGENDARY player of all time, Padam Shri Balbir Singh Senior ji - you will live forever in our heart," current men's hockey captain Manpreet Singh tweeted. 

Rest in Peace to one of the GREATEST and LEGENDARY player of all time Padma Shri Balbir Singh Senior ji - you will lives forever in our heart #tripleolympicsgoldmedalist pic.twitter.com/nYu5mfSV5t

— Manpreet Singh (@manpreetpawar07) May 25, 2020
 

Abhinav Bindra

 

Olympic gold medallist shooter Abhinav Bindra mourned the demise of three-time Olympic champion Balbir Singh.

 

Taking to Twitter, sole Indian gold medallist in an individual sport, wrote, "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!"

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!

— Abhinav A. Bindra OLY (@Abhinav_Bindra) May 25, 2020

Heena Sidhu

 

Former World number one shooter Heena Sidhu also expressed grief over the death of the legendary player.

 

"My deepest condolences to the family of the legend Balbir Singh ji. I have come close to meeting him so many times but always missed it. I was a big fan and was hoping to get a picture with him one day. Sadly he now resides in our memories only. Till we meet again. @BalbirSenior," Sidhu tweeted.

My deepest condolences to the family of the legend Balbir Singh ji. I have come close to meeting him so many times but always missed it. I was a big fan and was hoping to get a picture with him one day. Sadly he now resides in our memories only. Till we meet again. @BalbirSenior

— Heena SIDHU (@HeenaSidhu10) May 25, 2020
 

Akshay Kumar

 

Actor Akshay Kumar also expressed grief over the demise of veteran hockey player Balbir Singh.

 

Kumar took to Twitter to post a picture of himself with Balbir Singh.

 

"Saddened to hear about the demise of hockey legend #BalbirSingh ji. Have had the good fortune of meeting him in the past, such an amazing personality," he said in a tweet.

 

"My heartfelt condolences to his family," his tweet further said.

Saddened to hear about the demise of hockey legend #BalbirSingh ji. Have had the good fortune of meeting him in the past, such an amazing personality! My heartfelt condolences to his family pic.twitter.com/knjOq7VEav

Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) May 25, 2020

 

Ravi Shastri

#BalBirSingh ji- A True Giant and a half in his field. Hockey legend out and out. Condolences  #BalbirSinghSenior pic.twitter.com/4xClWGmhkT

— Ravi Shastri (@RaviShastriOfc) May 25, 2020

Virat Kohli

Saddened to hear about the passing of the legend, Balbir Singh Sr. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family in this time of sorrow. @BalbirSenior

— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) May 25, 2020

Captain Amrinder Singh, Punjab Chief minister

Saddened to learn about passing away of Hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr. A Triple Olympic Gold medallist, he exemplified qualities of perseverance, dedication & sportsmanship. Sir, you will be dearly missed & will forever remain an inspiration! A grateful State bids you farewell. pic.twitter.com/bwQwJyYbdo

— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) May 25, 2020

Viren Rasquinha

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 at Delhi. He was always smiling, so mentally alert and such a thorough gentleman. What a fine role model  pic.twitter.com/Sn1wlgdEss

— Viren Rasquinha (@virenrasquinha) May 25, 2020

Dilip Kumar Tirkey

India lost an absolute legend.

Deeply distressing news to wake up to. Condolences to Balbir Singh Sr Ji’s family in this time of grief. https://t.co/ayjml6q2mT

— Dilip Kumar Tirkey (@DilipTirkey) May 25, 2020

Dhanraj Pillay

No words of mine can express the sadness in my heart on the demise of Balbir Singh Sir, @BalbirSenior three time Olympian.His simplicity touched many hearts in the World Hockey. I humbly extend my sincere & heartfelt condolences. May his soul RIP & give strength to his family  pic.twitter.com/MhkPmkn9kL

— Dhanraj Pillay (@dhanrajpillay1) May 25, 2020


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