Balbir Singh Sr, a three-time Olympic gold medallist left Indian fans mourning as he breathed his last on Monday at Fortis Hospital in Mohali at the age of 95. This news spread like wildfire across the country. And, many renowned personalities along with cricketers shared their grief over the demise of the hockey legend.
In the year 2018, Bollywood director Reema Kagti had directed a movie ‘Gold’ in which Akshay Kumar played Team India’s manager when the side travelled to play their first Olympics in London in 1948. In that movie, a character named Himmat Singh was inspired by the late hockey legend.
Balbir Singh Sr, in 1948, scored two goals in Olympic final against the host England that helped India in winning the match by 4-0. It was a big day in the history of India as they managed to win their first Olympic Gold medal post independence. Afterwards, he also played an important role in the 1952 and 1956 Olympics in which the national side won consecutive golds in hockey.
Balbir Singh Sr was one of the greatest: Sachin Tendulkar
He was also appointed as the manager of the national team for some time after he bid adieu to the game. The legendary player died due to multiple health issues. There is no doubt over the fact that he was a warrior, who fought for two weeks before he took his last breath on Monday.
He was the first sports personality to be honoured with the Padma Shri award in 1957. Also, he holds the record for scoring most number of goals in an Olympic final (5). He achieved this milestone against Holland in 1952.
Cricket fraternity was left shocked when the demise of Balbir Singh Sr. And, many cricketers came out and offered a tribute to the hockey legend for giving such wonderful memories to the country.
Current India skipper Virat Kohli took to his Twitter handle and shared condolences by saying, “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.”
Here is how cricketers reacted:
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
India’s Greatest Hockey Player since Independence Sardar Balbir Singh Sr is no more..Long Live Sardar Balbir Singh Sr..RIP Legend.! pic.twitter.com/myDSfsti1r
— Bishan Bedi (@BishanBedi) May 25, 2020
Pained to hear about the demise of Hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr ji! Three time Olympic gold medalist, he brought great laurels to the country! You will always remain in our hearts Sir! #BalbirSingh
— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) May 25, 2020
An absolute legend of the game🏑
Balbir Singh Sr Sir, you will be missed. #RIP champion 🙏
— K L Rahul (@klrahul11) May 25, 2020
— Ravi Shastri (@RaviShastriOfc) May 25, 2020
— Anil Kumble (@anilkumble1074) May 25, 2020
#RIP Balbir Singh Sr Sir. One of the greatest hockey players of our nation. 🏑🙏
— Umesh Yaadav (@y_umesh) May 25, 2020
A brilliant sportsman for our nation whose performances brought great laurels for our country. #RIP Balbir Singh Sr Sir.
— Kuldeep yadav (@imkuldeep18) May 25, 2020
My heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Balbir Singh ji Sr.
He was one of the greatest to have graced the game of hockey 🏑.
May his soul Rest in Peace! pic.twitter.com/Z4tnb6D3OB
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) May 25, 2020
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