Age: 95 Years
Hometown: Jalandhar, Punjab
|Full Name||Balbir Singh Dosanjh|
|Profession||Indian Hockey Player
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 173 cm
in meters- 1.73 m
in Feet Inches- 5’ 8”
|Eye Colour||Dark Brown|
|International Debut||In the 1948 London Summer Olympics against Argentina|
|Jersey Number||#13 (India)|
|Domestic Team(s)||• Punjab University (National)
• Punjab Police (National)
• Punjab State (National)
|Nature on field||Aggressive
|Awards & Achievements||• Member of 3 times Olympic Gold Medal winning teams (1948, 1952, and 1956 Olympic Games).
• Member of 2 times Silver Medal winning teams at the Asian Games (1958 & 1962).
• First sports person to be honoured with the Padma Shri Award (1957).
• In 1958, Balbir, along with Gurdev Singh, was featured on a stamp issued by the Dominican Republic to commemorate the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.
• In 1982, he lit the Sacred Flame at the New Delhi Asian Games.
• In 1982, the Patriot newspaper adjudged him the Indian Sportsperson of the Century.
• In 2006, he was named the Best Sikh Hockey Player.
• In 2015, Hockey India conferred him with the Major Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award.
|Career Turning Point||In the 1948 London Summer Olympics, when he scored 6 goals (including a hat-trick) against Argentina.|
|Records||• Olympic record for most goals scored in men's hockey final by an individual.
• The only Indian among 16 legends chosen by the International Olympic Committee across modern Olympic history.
|Date of Birth||10 October 1924 (Friday)|
|Birthplace||Haripur Khalsa, Punjab|
|Date of Death||25 May 2020 (Monday)|
|Time of Death||6:30 am The Hindu|
|Place of Death||Fortis Hospital, Mohali, Punjab|
|Age (at the time of death)||95 Years|
|Death Cause||He died after battling multiple health issues. The Hindu|
|School||Dev Samaj High School, Moga, Punjab, India|
|College||• DM College, Moga, Punjab, India
• Sikh National College, Lahore, Pakistan
• Khalsa College, Amritsar
|Family||Father- Dalip Singh Dosanjh (Freedom Fighter)
Mother- Name Not Known
Brother- Not Known
Sister- Not Known
|Residence||Burnaby (Canada); Chandigarh (India)|
|Hobbies||Reading, Listening to Music|
|Hockey Player(s)||Ali Iqtidar Shah (Dara), Mohd Azam, Dhyan Chand|
|Girls, Family & More|
|Marital Status (at the time of death)||Married|
|Wife||Sushil (m. 1946)
Sons- Kanwalbir, Karanbir, Gurbir
Some Lesser Known Facts About Balbir Singh Sr.
- Did Balbir Singh Sr. drink alcohol:? Yes
- He was born in Haripur Khalsa; a small village in the Jalandhar district of Punjab.
- His father Dalip Singh Dosanjh was a Freedom Fighter.
- Harbail Singh, the then coach of Khalsa College Hockey Team, was the first person who spotted Balbir as a promising Hockey player.
- It was Harbail who frequently insisted on the transfer of Balbir from Sikh National College, Lahore to Khalsa College, Amritsar.
- In 1942, he was transferred to Khalsa College and began intensive training under Harbail’s guidance.
- In 1942, he was selected in the Punjab University Hockey Team and under his captaincy, the Team won All India Inter-University titles 3 years in a row: 1943, 1944, and 1945.
- He has been a member of the last team of “Undivided Punjab” that won the title at the 1947 National Championships.
- After the partition of India in the year 1947, he moved to Ludhiana along with his family where he got a posting in the Punjab Police.
- For 20 years (1941-1961), he captained the Punjab Police Hockey Team.
- Playing in his first International Match at the 1948 London Summer Olympics, he scored 6 goals (including a hat-trick) against Argentina.
- In 1952, he became the vice-captain of the Men’s Indian Hockey Team for the 1952 Helsinki Olympics.
- He was India’s “Flag Bearer” during the ‘Opening Ceremony’ at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics.
- At the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, he again scored a hat-trick against Britain in the semi-final, which India won by 3-1.
- At the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, he scored 5 goals against the Netherlands in the final match and set a new Olympic record of maximum goals scored by an individual in the men’s Hockey Final Match.
- At the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, he scored 13 goals in total, which was 69.23% of the team’s goals.
- He captained the 1956 Olympic team at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. However, he got injured in the opening match against Argentina after scoring 5 goals. The rest of the group matches were captained by Randhir Singh Gentle.
- In 1971, he coached the Indian Hockey team for the World Cup.
- He was the Manager of the Indian Hockey team, which emerged victorious in the 1975 World Cup held in Kuala Lumpur.
- He also served as Chief of the Directorate of Sports in Punjab.
- Balbir wrote two books – his autobiography, “The Golden Hat Trick” (1977), and “The Golden Yardstick: In Quest of Hockey Excellence” (2008).