Mumbai: Balbir Singh Sr, one of the greatest players of Indian hockey, died in Chandigarh on Monday due to several health issues. He was 95.
Balbir was admitted to the hospital on 8 May after a fever of 104 degrees. On May 10, he tested negative for COVID-19 but was in critical condition as he struggled with bronchial pneumonia. He suffered multiple cardiac arrests the following week and remained serious.
In January last year, Balbir was discharged from hospital after spending 108 days in intensive care recovering from bronchial pneumonia.
His career was played during the days of Dhyanchand and later generations during the early years of India’s hockey supremacy, who found it difficult to dominate at a high level.
Balbir, who played as a center forward, was a key member of the Indian team that won gold in the 1948 (London), 1952 (Helsinki) and 1956 (Melbourne) Olympics.
In his first games in 1948, which almost missed out on a clerical error, Balbir scored a 9–1 group-stage victory over Argentina, as well as two goals in a 4–0 defeat to Great Britain in the final.