(Sandhya Jha, Intern Journalist): Balbir Singh Sr. one of the greatest hockey players, died in Mohali at the age of 96 on Monday morning. He was admitted to Fortis Hospital here for the last two weeks and breathed his last at half-past six in the morning. Hockey India also expressed grief over the demise of former Olympian Balbir Singh.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah also expressed grief over the demise of former Olympian Balbir Singh. Modi said that Balbir Singh was not only a good player, but he also left his mark as a mentor. He will be remembered by the entire country for his game. He raised the country’s honor on several occasions.
Sports Minister Kiran Rijiju tweeted – deeply saddened by the passing away of India’s legendary hockey player Balbir Singh. I pay tribute to him and pray for the peace of the departed soul.
Abhinav Bindra said, “It was a matter of pride for me to receive the honor from him. He has been a role model for athletes. I hope athletes from all over the world continue to take inspiration from him. “
I wish to be photographed with him: incomplete: Sardar Singh
Former captain of Indian hockey team Sardar Singh said- He was ideal for me and many hockey players. With his death, one of my wishes will remain unfulfilled forever. My dream was to click a picture of myself with three of his Olympic gold medals, but this is no longer possible.
Balbir Singh was hospitalized on 8 May
The former Olympian was admitted to the hospital on 8 May after complaining of pneumonia and high fever. He also suffered a heart attack thrice during treatment. He was in a coma since May 18 due to a blood clot in his brain.
Balbir Singh scored five goals in the final of Helsinki Olympics
Balbir scored 5 goals against the Netherlands in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics final. His record of scoring the most goals in an Olympic final is still maintained. India won the match 6–1.
He was a three-time Olympic gold medalist
He was part of the Indian team that won gold in the Olympics in London (1948), Helsinki (1952) and Melbourne (1956). He was named among the 16 greatest players in modern Olympic history by the International Olympic Committee. He was the only player in the country to be included in this list.
The first player of the country to receive the Padma Shri
This former Olympian was awarded the Padma Shri in 1957. He was the first player to receive this honor. He was the manager of the only Indian team to win the Hockey World Cup in 1975. Singh scored 246 goals in 61 matches for India.
Akshay played him in the film Gold on Balbir Singh
Hockey legend has become a biopic on Balbir Singh. The name of this film was Gold. Akshay Kumar played his character in the 2018 film. The story was based on the 1948 London Olympics when India won the gold by defeating Britain 4–0 in the final. He scored two goals in this match.
Had played the final of the 1956 Olympics with a broken hand
He was the captain of the team at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. Then his arm was fractured during the first match. But the coach did not tell anyone about the injury to maintain his horror. In the final, he played despite the pain and won the team against Pakistan.
Akshay Kumar, who plays his character on screen, is also saddened by his death. He tweeted – I am very sad to hear the news of the death of hockey legend Balbir Singh Ji. I had a chance to meet him in the past and I consider myself fortunate for this. He was a man of great personality.