Three-time Olympic gold medallist hockey player Balbir Singh Senior passed away on Monday at the age of 95 after battling multiple health issues.
“Balbir Singh passed away this morning,” Balbir’s grandson Kabir said in a statement. The veteran player suffered a cardiac arrest on May 12 and after that, he suffered two more cardiac arrests during the course of his admission to the hospital.
Balbir Singh was a three-time Olympic gold champion. He played a key role in India’s Olympic victories in London (1948), as a vice-captain in Helsinki (1952) and as the captain in Melbourne (1956).
In his illustrious playing career from 1947-1958, Balbir won 61 international caps and scored a whopping 246 goals. He also worked as a manager for the 1975 World Cup-winning team.
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 their own backyard during the Final of the 1948 Olympic Games as an independent nation was Balbir Sr’s ‘greatest moment’.