Mohali, May 25: Hockey Legend Balbir Singh Senior breathed his at a Mohali Hospital on Monday morning. He had been admitted to the hospital earlier this month on May 8 due to pneumonia and was on ventilator support. He was 96.
Singh was a key contributor in Indian Hockey Team as he was part of India's wins in the 1948 London Olympics, 1952 Helsinki Olympics in which he was the vice-captain, and 1956 Melbourne Olympics as captain.
Singh's full name was Balbir Singh Dosanjh. However, he was nicknamed as 'Senior' because at least there were five Balbirs who had played for India in later years. He was also the oldest surviving Olympic medallist from India a record broken by his team-mate, Keshav Dutt.
Singh became the first recipient of the Padma Shri award in the sports category in 1957 due to an immense contribution to the national sport.
Later on, he was also a part of the Indian hockey team that won the silver medal at the 1958 Asian Games.
As a coach, he guided the Indian team in eight tournaments who stood on the podium every single time. The victories included a gold medal at the 1966 Asian Games, bronze at the 1971 World Cup, bronze at 1982 Champions Trophy, and silver at 1982 Asian Games.