Pain for India as hockey hero Singh dies at 95

Sports | AGENCIES 26 May 2020

Balbir Singh, who won three Olympic field hockey golds for India and became one his country's greatest sporting heroes, has died at the age of 95.

Singh was in teams who won the Olympic titles in London in 1948 and Helsinki in 1952 and then led the side who won in Melbourne in 1956. His five goals in the 6-1 defeat of the Netherlands in 1952 remain a record for an Olympic final.

India beat the former colonial power Great Britain 4-0 in the 1948 final a few months after his country's troubled independence. Singh scored two goals at Wembley and became one of the biggest stars of the Games. "I was on top of the world," he said later. "It was very special to beat the former rulers in their country."

Singh was also the manager of the Indian side that won the 1975 World Cup.

Singh had been in hospital after suffering three heart attacks in recent weeks.

"We have also lost 'our guiding light'," Hockey India president Mohammed Mushtaque Ahmad said.

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