Hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr breathed his last On May 25, 2020 (Monday) morning at the age of 95. Singh, a three-time Olympic gold medallist and the captain of the 1956 Olympics gold medal-winning hockey team, had been admitted at the Fortis hospital in Mohali since May 8 and was being treated for a bronchial fever. Many from the sports fraternity, including Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and Abhinav Bindra, paid their respects to the late hockey legend and moaned his death. The 95-year-old was also the manager of India’s first and only Hockey World Cup-winning team. Balbir Singh Sr Passes Away: A Look at Journey of One of India’s Brightest Hockey Players.
He was ‘a doyen of Indian sports’ said Harbhajan Singh recalling the achievements of the hockey legend. “When you look back at his achievements, you just remain awestruck,” Bhajji added in his post. Kohli sent his thoughts and prayers to the bereaved family while Suresh Raina quipped that ‘Legends never truly leave, they live on in the hearts of people.’ Take a look at how others from the sports fraternity reacted to the sad demise of a global sporting icon.
Virat Kohli Reacts to Balbir Singh Sr's Passing
Saddened to hear about the passing of the legend, Balbir Singh Sr. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family in this time of sorrow. 🙏🏼 @BalbirSenior
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) May 25, 2020
Harbhajan Singh Recalls Balbir Singh's Legacy
A doyen of Indian sports Shri Balbir Singh Senior is no more. When you look back at his achievements,you just remain awestruck
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
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) May 25, 2020
Suresh Raina Pays Tribute to the Late Hockey Legend
Legends never truly leave, they live on in the hearts of people. #BalbirSingh ji, thank you for the decades of great hockey and for inspiring us. Condolences to the family. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/xMvvVEVxFs
— Suresh Raina🇮🇳 (@ImRaina) May 25, 2020
Saina Nehwal Calls Balbir Singh Sr an Inspiration
— Saina Nehwal (@NSaina) May 25, 2020
Abhinav Bindra Remembers One of India's Mose Celebrated Olympians
Saddened to hear of the demise of one of India's most celebrated Olympians, Balbir Singh Sr. Athletes and role models such as him come very rarely, and it was an honour to know him, and I hope his example will continue to inspire athletes from around the world!
— Abhinav A. Bindra OLY (@Abhinav_Bindra) May 25, 2020
Ravi Shastri Pays Tribute to the Sporting Legend
— Ravi Shastri (@RaviShastriOfc) May 25, 2020
End of an Era - Dutee Chand
End of an era in Hockey as our very dear and respected @BalbirSenior passed way. He was a legend. Condolences to the family in this hour of loss. RIP Sir.@TheHockeyIndia @IndiaSports pic.twitter.com/vUnM5XleLu
— Dutee Chand (@DuteeChand) May 25, 2020
PT Usha Remembers Role Model Balbir Singh Sr
Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Balbir Singh Sr ji. An athlete par excellence and a role model beyond words! His bestowed hands may strengthen my passions more. My condolences to his family, friends and fans!#balbirsingh #Balbirhockey pic.twitter.com/figkm8ibBW
— P.T. USHA (@PTUshaOfficial) May 25, 2020
Team India Men's Hockey Captain Offers Heart Felt Condolences
I was rather shocked to hear the news of legendary Olympian Balbir Singh Sr untimely demise. My heart felt condolences to his family. I pray that the almighty gives his family the strength to withstand this tragic moment. May his soul rest in peace. #RIP pic.twitter.com/ynp8LXG1UV
— sreejesh p r (@16Sreejesh) May 25, 2020
Women's Hockey Captain Rani Rampal Thanks Balbir Singh for His Contribution
Pained to learn about the passing of our three times Olympic Gold medalist and legend Balbir Singh Senior sir this morning.
His contribution towards Indian hockey is unforgettable. He will continue to inspire our generations to come.
My deepest condolences to his family. RIP pic.twitter.com/8qcIuHe9vW
— Rani Rampal (@imranirampal) May 25, 2020
Balbir Singh Sr was part of independent India’s first-ever Olympic gold medal-winning team of 1948, vice-captain of the 1952 Olympic gold-winning hockey team and captain of the 1956 team. His record of five goals against the Netherlands at 1952 Olympic final holds the record of highest individual goals scored in a gold-medal hockey match at the Olympics.
Post his playing career, Singh also served Indian hockey in his capacity as the selector, administrator, coach and manager. He coached the Indian team to a bronze medal in the inaugural edition of the Hockey World Cup in 1971 and was manager of the 1975 side that lifted the World title. He is survived by his daughter Sushbir and three sons Kanwalbir, Karanbir, and Gurbir.