|Profession||Field Hockey Player|
|Famous for||Being a part of the Indian Men's Hockey Team that won the Hockey World Cup in 1975|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 180 cm
in meters- 1.80 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 11”
|Weight (approx.)||in kilograms- 58 kg
in pounds- 128 lbs
|International Debut||1972 Munich Olympics|
|Domestic/State Team(s)||Indian Railways Hockey Team|
• Bronze Medal at 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich
Hockey World Cup
• Silver Medal at 1973 Men's Hockey World Cup in Amsterdam
• Gold Medal at 1975 Men's Hockey World Cup in Kuala Lumpur
• Silver Medal at 1974 Asian Games in Tehran
• Silver Medal at 1978 Asian Games in Bangkok
|Date of Birth||16 May 1947 (Friday)|
|Birthplace||Village Dhannowali, Jalandhar, Punjab (then-British Raj), India|
|Date of Death||28 June 2022|
|Place of Death||Jalandhar, Punjab|
|Age (at the time of death)||75 Years|
|Hometown||Village Dhannowali near Jalandhar, Punjab, India|
|Relationships & More|
|Marital Status (at the time of death)||Not Known|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Varinder Singh
- Varinder Singh was an Indian field hockey player. He was an integral part of the only world-cup-winning Indian hockey team; the Indian men’s hockey team won the 1975 Hockey World Cup in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, by beating Pakistan by 2-1 in the final.
- He was passionate about the game from a very young age and got trained in hockey in his teenage.
- In 1960s he got selected in the Indian Railways Hockey team and got the opportunity to play with the likes of Balbir Singh Randhawa and 1964 Olympics gold medallist Harbinder Singh.
- Varinder was made to play against Punjab team’s Harcharan Singh (1972 Munich Olympics bronze medallist) and Services team’s Balbir Singh Kular (1968 Mexico Olympics bronze medallist) during national hockey matches and other big tournaments like the Nehru Gold Cup. In an interview, reminiscing his duels with Singh at the domestic level, Harcharan Singh said,
Varinder would become one of India’s best right-halves and I would be considered one of India’s best left-in wingers. During the Nationals and tournaments like the Nehru Gold Cup, it would be a duel between us.”
- In 1972, Varinder Singh got selected as a reserve for Kular at the Munich Olympics; it was his international hockey debut for India.
- He was an integral part of some of the memorable victories of the Indian Hockey Team in 1970s. He was considered one of the best right-half hockey players in India during the 1970s.
- In 1972, Singh played for the Indian Hockey team that won a bronze medal at the 1972 Munich Olympics. He was also a part of the 1973 World Cup-winning Indian Hockey squad.
- He had to his credit two silver medals at the 1974 and 1978 Asian Games, respectively.
- He also played for the team India in the 1975 Montreal Olympics (hockey).
- In the same year, he played for India at the 1975 Hockey World Cup. His team went on to win the cup after defeating its arch rival Pakistan in the finals. Varinder played an important role in India’s 3-1 win over Germany in the pool stage, a must-win game.
- After retiring from the game, Varinder associated with a few coaching institutions (that provide coaching in hockey) as a hockey coach; he provided coaching to Punjab and Sind Bank hockey team for more than eight years.
- In 2007, Varinder was conferred with the prestigious Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award by the then-President of India Pratibha Patil for his immense contribution to Indian Hockey.
- In 2008, he got appointed as the coach of the Punjab Sports department and worked there till 2021.
- In 2021, Singh started working as a hockey coach at Lyallpur Khalsa College for Women, Jalandhar. Meanwhile, he also trained the students at Round Glass Hockey Academy, Jalandhar.
- On 28 June 2022, at the age of 75, he passed away at a hospital in Jalandhar. The Indian Hockey Federation was deeply saddened by the news of his demise. The federation while mourning the death of Varinder in a press release, said,
Varinder Singh’s achievements will be remembered by the hockey fraternity worldwide.”
Hockey India also took to Twitter to express its grief. The federation tweeted,
In light of the tragic passing of the great Hockey player Shri Varinder Singh, we pray to the Almighty to grant the departed person’s soul eternal rest and to provide the family members the fortitude to endure this irreparable loss.”
- In a media conversation, Avtar Singh, coach at the Surjit Hockey Academy, Jalandhar, while talking about Singh’s demise said that it was a huge loss for the Indian as well as Punjab hockey. He said,
It’s a huge loss for Indian hockey as well Punjab hockey. Varinder Singh was one of the best right-half in the country along with Krishnamurty Perumal in the 1970’s and after he retired, he made sure that he remained in touch with the sport through coaching. After coaching Punjab and Sind Bank hockey team for more than eight years, he worked as a coach with the Punjab Sports department since 2008 and had joined a private academy last year.”
- Remembered as a humbled, down to earth, and good human being by his students and co-workers, Singh was very punctual. Talking about the same in an interview, the office secretary of Hockey Punjab Kulbir Saini said,
I have not seen anyone so punctual like him. Whenever he would train young players, I would often sit, observe and learn from him. When he was around, I would prefer just looking at the style of teaching.”
- His last rites were performed at his native village Dhannowali in Jalandhar on 28 June 2022. Many budding Indian hockey players gathered at the cremation ground and raised their hockey sticks to pay a tribute to him.
- In an interview, Iqbal Singh Sandhu, sports whistle blower, shared an interesting incident that happened during a hockey match between India and Australia. He said,
Once there was a match between Indian hockey team and Australia. As Varinder was short in height, he heard Australian players commenting on his height that he was a ‘tiny man’. After this, he started the game and dodged the ball for several minutes which made them (Australian players) go crazy. The players then said that he was a ‘dangerous man’. Varinder Singh himself told us this.”
- According to some of his students, Singh used to travel a distance of 8 km on his scooter to train the hockey students. Talking about the same in a media conversation, Jasdeep Kaur, a national-level hockey player who was being trained by Singh, said,
How could someone his age come to train on his scooter covering a distance of 8 km amid this sweltering heat without a break? He would come 15 minutes early than the actual training time. This is the one life lesson I think I will always follow.”
- He was once the coach of the Tokyo Olympics player Gurjit Kaur. Gurjit had scored several goals at the Olympics.
- Varinder Singh often asked his students to enjoy their practice sessions. Talking about the same in an interview, one of his students said,
Kade vi eh nahee kehna, ki main thak gayi, nai te kal vi usi mann naal aaoge (After the completion of the practice session, you should not say that I am tired, because it will impact your mood and you will come next time with the same mindset. Always say I am fit, I enjoy the practice and I will do it tomorrow again, only then you will be able to excel.”