Sports fraternity pays tribute to hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr.

Balbir Singh Dosanjh, popularly known as Balbir Singh Senior, breathed his last at around 6:30 at Fortis Hospital in Mohali on Monday.

Sports fraternity pays tribute to hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr.
Image Credits: Twitter/@VVSLaxman228

The sports fraternity came in unison to condole the demise of three-time Olympic gold medal-winning hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr., who passed away on Monday.

From Indian skipper Virat Kohli to Indian table tennis star Manika Batra, all took to their social media handles to pay tributes to the deceased legend.

Expressing grief over the death of Balbir Singh Sr, Kohli tweeted, "Saddened to hear about the passing of the legend, Balbir Singh Sr. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family in this time of sorrow. @BalbirSenior," the 32-year-old wrote on his official Twitter handle. 

Cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir mourned the demise of Balbir Singh, saying the three-time Olympic gold medalist brought great laurels to the country.

"Pained to hear about the demise of Hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr ji! Three time Olympic gold medalist, he brought great laurels to the country! You will always remain in our hearts Sir! #BalbirSingh," Gambhir said.

Paying tribute to Balbir Singh Sr., Indian wicketkeeper-batsman KL Rahul wrote that the former was an absolute legend of the game who wil be missed greatly.

"An absolute legend of the game. Balbir Singh Sr Sir, you will be missed. #RIP champion," Rahul said.

Meanwhile, the Twitter handle of Indian football team also condoled the tragic demise of one the country's greatest ever sportspersons.

"We mourn the tragic demise of the legendary hockey icon Balbir Singh Sr, a 3-time Olympic gold medalist and one of India's greatest-ever sportspersons.May his soul rest in peace
#IndianFootball," the tweet said.

Former Indian cricketer VVS Laxman also conveyed his deep condolences to the family of the hockey legend. 

"Sad to hear the news of the passing away of one of our greatest hockey icons, Balbir Singh Sr ji . Heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones," Laxman tweeted.

Table Tennis star Manika Batra too took to Twitter and extended her heartfelt condolences to the family of the former hockey player.

"Sad to hear learn about the passing away of our legendary, hockey Icon, triple Olympic Gold medalist Balbir Singh Senior Sir. My heartfelt condolences to his family. May his soul rest in peace," she tweeted.

Balbir Singh Dosanjh, popularly known as Balbir Singh Senior, breathed his last at around 6:30 at Fortis Hospital in Mohali on Monday.

The hockey legend, who was admitted to the hospital on May 8, was in a semi-comatose state since May 18 after developing a blood clot in his brain.

He  is survived by his daughter Sushbir and three sons Kanwalbir, Karanbir, Gurbir.

Balbir Singh Sr was  one of the most decorated athletes in the history of Indian sports with Olympic gold medals in 1948, 1952 and 1956 Games. He was also the only Indian among 16 legends selected by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) across modern Olympic history.

Balbir Singh Sr was awarded the Padma Shri award in 1957. He was also conferred with the Major Dhyan Chand Life Time Achievement Award by Hockey India in 2015. 

He had also served as the coach of the Indian hockey team and guided them to their first and only World Cup win in 1975 in Malaysia. The hockey legend still holds the record of most goals scored by an individual in a hockey match--the feat he achieved when he scored five goals in India's 6-1 win over Netherlands in the gold medal match of the 1952 Games.