Balbir Singh Dosanjh, popularly known as Balbir Singh Sr has died on Monday. The demise of the three-time Olympic gold medalist has broken the heart of the Indians.
He was in a semi-comatose state since 18th May and had developed a blood clot in his brain after being first admitted to the hospital for bronchial pneumonia with a high fever. He also suffered three cardiac arrests during the course of his treatment. The 95-year old finally breathed his last breath at the hospital in Chandigarh on Monday.
Balbir Singh Sr was one of the most decorated sports personality of our country. He won Olympic medals in 1948, 1952 and 1956 Summer Games. His contribution to Indian hockey cannot be measured only by the number of trophies. The way he revolutionised hockey for independent India deserves a special mention in the history books.
He still holds the world record for the most number of goals scored in an Olympic men’s hockey final. He scored 5 goals in India’s gold medal win in 1952 Helsinki Games. They had beaten the Netherlands by 6-1.
The iconic centre-forward is the only Indian among the 16 legends chosen by the International Olympic Committee across modern Olympic history.
Balbir Singh Sr is the first hockey player to be awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian honour in 1957. He also received Major Dhyan Chand Life Time Achievement Award by Hockey India in 2014.
It is no doubt that he was a legendary hockey player. Along with that, he was an equally excellent coach. 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.
The whole of India is saddened by the passing away of such a great sports personality. These are a few of the tweets who offered their condolences to the hockey legend.
Padma Shri Balbir Singh Sr. Ji will be remembered for his memorable sporting performances. He brought home lots of pride and laurels. Undoubtedly a brilliant hockey player, he also made a mark as a great mentor. Pained by his demise. Condolences to his family and well wishers.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 25, 2020
A doyen of Indian sports Shri Balbir Singh Senior is no more. When you look back at his achievements,you just remain awestruck— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) May 25, 2020
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
India’s Greatest Hockey Player since Independence Sardar Balbir Singh Sr is no more..Long Live Sardar Balbir Singh Sr..RIP Legend.! pic.twitter.com/myDSfsti1r— Bishan Bedi (@BishanBedi) May 25, 2020
Balbir Singh Sr will always be remembered fondly by the Indians. The greatest moment of his career was beating England by 4-0 in their own backyard during the final of the 1948 Olympic Games as an independent nation. This memory will live on for ages.
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