One of the first sporting heroes of Independent India legendary hockey player Sardar Balbir Singh Sr. passed away. The 3 times Olympic gold medalist breathed his last in Mohali on Monday. Condolences and prayers for the departed soul started coming in as soon as the news broke out. PM Modi also tweeted to express his grief.
The Padma Shri recipient was admitted to Fortis Hospital, Mohali where he was admitted since 8th May. He breathed his last in the hospital at the age of 96. Singh was part of winning team India in 1948 London,1952 Helsinki & 1956 Melbourne Olympics. The period is known as the ‘golden age’ of Indian hockey.
Singh was in the semi-comatose state since May 18 and had developed a blood clot in his brain as per reports from NDTV Sports. He developed a blood clot in his brain after being admitted. He was admitted with complaints of bronchial pneumonia with a high fever.
The Olympian has an unbeaten Guinness world record in his name. Singh holds the world record for most goals scored by an individual in the men’s hockey final. Singh scored 5 goals in India’s 6-1 victory over the Netherlands in the gold medal match at the 1952 Helsinki Games.
Singh kept on the winning note even after his playing days were over. He was Manager and Chief Coach Indian team for the 1975 Men’s Hockey World Cup, which India won, and the 1971 Men’s Hockey World Cup, where India earned a bronze medal.
Regarded as the greatest ever center-forward Singh was also known as the modern-day Dhyan Chand. The demise of the legendary player has left not only the hockey fraternity but the whole of the country in tears.