Describing the 3-time Olympic gold medal winner as a ‘role model’ for the youth, the great hockey players of Pakistan said that he was not only a great player but also a great person from 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 golds, 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 said to me in Punjabi, ‘Sannu Ghatt Gol Karien (Scoring less goals against us. He also praised my performance’).
Hassan’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 both the tournaments and the bronze medal winner of the 1976 Montreal Olympics, was told by his uncle and Motiullah, who played for the 1960 Rome Olympics gold medal winner Pakistani team, about the game of Balbir Senior.
Samiullah said, ‘Balbir Sr. used to play during 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 Ahmed (Shahbaz Sr.), captain and 3-time Olympian of the Pakistani team that won the Sydney World Cup 1994, 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 behavior. 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. He then met him for the last time during the 2018 World Cup in Bhubaneswar and he still had not changed at all. ‘
He said, ‘I pray that his family gets the strength to bear this grief. Hockey lost a niche player. ‘Wasim Ahmed, who was ranked in the world’s best left half and played the most international matches for Pakistan, said that Balbir Sr.’s love for hockey was an example.
He said, “I am his great admirer and his love for hockey is an example. He has achieved so much for his country and his status is no less than a superhero. He said, “When I met him, he was like a hero to me and will be for many generations to come.” ‘