Describing 3-time Olympic gold medal winner Balbir Singh Sr. as a ‘role model’ for the youth, veteran hockey players of Pakistan said that he was not only a great player but also a great human being with whom a lot Can be learned. Balbir Sr., the former captain and coach of the Indian hockey team, died in Mohali on Monday following long-standing health problems.
Former Pakistan captain Hassan Sardar, who won gold at the Los Angeles Olympics (1984), told the language, ‘Balbir Singh was a legend not only in India but in the entire subcontinent. By winning 3 Olympic Gold, he made his name among the greatest hockey players.
Referring to his meeting with Balbir during the 1982 Delhi Asian Games, he said, ‘He was a very good person too. I remember he told me in Punjabi, ‘Sannu Ghatt Gol Karien (Scoring fewer goals against us. He also praised my performance’).
Hasan’s brilliant performance in the Best Center Forward of his round, Pakistan won the 1982 Asian Games gold and the World Cup in Mumbai the same year in which he was the ‘man of the match’. Samiullah, who was a member of the Bronze Medal Winner Pakistan team of both these tournaments and the 1976 Montreal Olympics, was told by his uncle and Motiullah, who played for the 1960 Rome Olympics gold medal winner Pakistani team, about Balbir Sr.’s game.
Samiullah said, ‘Balbir Sr. used to play in my uncle Motiullah’s era. He told me about his speed and amazing control over the ball. Marhoom Olympian Anwar Ahmed also told that no one had the same pace as Balbir Sr. He said, “I met him and Dhyanchand Ji on 1975 tour of India and I can never forget him”.
Shahbaz Ahmad, the captain of the Pakistani team that won the 1994 Sydney World Cup and the 3-time Olympian, said that during the Indira Gandhi Cup in Lucknow in 1987, Balbir Sr. gave him the trophy for ‘Player of the Tournament’ and that was his Were convinced of the act. He said, ‘I met him for the first time then and I saw that he is not only a great player but also a very humble and good man. After that, I met him for the last time during the 2018 World Cup in Bhubaneswar and he still did not change at all.