Chandigarh:Hockey legend and three time Olympic gold medallist Balbir Singh Sr died in a private hospital at Mohali, near here, on Monday morning.
The 95-year-old hockey legend breathed his last at 0617 hours. He is survived by three sons and a daughter.On May 8, Balbir Singh was admitted to a private hospital in Mohali in a very serious condition with multiple organ failure due to bronchial pneumonia. He was on ventilator support since May 12 and had tested negative for COVID-19. He had suffered cardiac arrests while in hospital.
One of the greatest hockey player, Balbir Singh Sr had spent 108 days in PGIMER here last year due to bronchial pneumonia.
He was a member of the 1948 London Olympics gold medal winning Indian team, vice-captain of 1952 Helsinki Olympic victorious Indian team and captain of 1956 Melbourne Olympics champion Indian team.
Singh's world record for most goals scored by an individual in the men's hockey final of the Olympics remains unbeaten. He had scored five goals in India's 6-1 victory over the Netherlands in the gold medal match of the 1952 Helsinki Games.
The hockey icon also coached the 1975 World Cup winning Indian team. He was the only Indian athlete among 16 athletes chosen by the International Olympic Committee as 'Iconic Olympians'.
Singh was awarded the Padma Shri in 1957 and conferred with Major Dhyan Chand Life Time Achievement Award in 2015.
Asian Hockey Federation pays tribute to hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr
Kuala Lumpur:The Asian Hockey Federation on Monday expressed its deepest condolences on the sad demise of Hockey Legend Balbir Singh Sr saying the three-times Olympic gold medal winner will be remembered for his immense contributions and love for the game of hockey on the pitch and beyond.
Singh breathed his last at a hospital in Mohali this morning after battling multiple health issues for over two weeks. He was 96.
"We are extremely saddened to learn about the demise of Padma Shiri Balbir Singh Dosanjh. He was an exemplary figure in the history of India and Sports. Undeniably, it is an irreparable loss, but no one can avert the decree of the fate. We at AHF offer our earnest sympathies and extend our heartfelt condolence," Dato Fumio Ogura, President Asian Hockey Federation said in a statement.
The AHF said this is a sad moment not only for Hockey India, Asian Hockey Community but for the global hockey and sport fraternity.
Balbir Sr was awarded the Padma Shri, India's fourth-highest civilian honour in 1957 and was conferred with the Major Dhyan Chand Life Time Achievement Award by Hockey India in 2014.
He also became the only Asian male and only Indian among 16 athletes to be chosen as "Iconic Olympians" by the International Olympic Committee across the modern Olympics' history.
Balbir Sr was the most decorated athlete in Indian sports history with Olympic 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 at the 1975 World Cup.
Beating England 4-0 in their own backyard during the Final of the 1948 Olympic Games as an independent nation was Balbir Sr's 'greatest moment'.(UNI)