Hockey Legend Balbir Singh Sr died at the age of 96 at Fortis hospital

One of India’s greatest hockey players, Balbir Singh Sr. breathed his last on Monday morning after fighting against multiple health problems over the last few weeks.

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The hockey icon aged 96 and has a daughter Sushbir and three sons Kanwalbir, Karanbir and Gurbir. He was admitted in the Fortis Hospital in Mohali on May 8 having 104° high fever and bronchial pneumonia. The Director of the hospital reported that he passed away at about 6:30 in the morning. Balbir Singh’s grandson Kabir circulated a message stating, “Nanaji passed away this morning”. Since May 18, he reached the semi-comatose condition with a blood clot in his brain.

He suffered from cardiac arrest thrice while he was undergoing his treatment.

This hockey legend won the gold medal in the Olympics three times – 1948 in London, 1952 in Helsinki as the vice-captain of the team and 1956 in Melbourne as the captain. His world record for individually scoring a maximum number of goals has remained undefeated in the history of men’s hockey.

India won by 6-1 over the Netherlands at the 1952 Helsinki games. The 5 out of 6 goals was scored by Balbir Singh.

The iconic centre-forward was the only Indian among 16 legends chosen by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) across modern Olympic history. He remained the manager of India’s only World Cup-winning side in 1975. He was honoured with the Padma Shri award in 1957.

This was the fourth time in the past years that the accomplished Hockey player and coach got admitted to the hospital in Intensive Care Unit (ICU). During the month of January in 2019, he had spent more than three months in hospital due to bronchial pneumonia.

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