From India’s first individual Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra to Indian women’s hockey team captain Rani Rampal, the Indian sports fraternity, on Monday, came together to pay their tributes to hockey legend Balbir Singh Senior, who passed away at the age of 95 on Monday.
A three-time Olympic gold medallist, Balbir, breathed his last after battling multiple health issues for over two weeks. His world record for most goals scored by an individual in the men’s hockey final of the Olympics still remains unmatched. He had scored five goals in India’s 6-1 victory over the Netherlands in the final of the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games. He was later conferred with the Padma Shri in 1957. He was also the manager of India’s only World Cup-winning side in 1975.
Saddened to hear of the demise of one of India's most celebrated Olympians, Balbir Singh Sr. Athletes and role models such as him come very rarely, and it was an honour to know him, and I hope his example will continue to inspire athletes from around the world!
— Abhinav A. Bindra OLY (@Abhinav_Bindra) May 25, 2020
Pained to learn about the passing of our three times Olympic Gold medalist and legend Balbir Singh Senior sir this morning.
His contribution towards Indian hockey is unforgettable. He will continue to inspire our generations to come.
My deepest condolences to his family. RIP pic.twitter.com/8qcIuHe9vW
— Rani Rampal (@imranirampal) May 25, 2020
Rani Rampal wrote that she was pained to lean about the death and that he will continue to inspire future generations. PT Usha also wrote that she was ‘deeply saddened.’
Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Balbir Singh Sr ji. An athlete par excellence and a role model beyond words! His bestowed hands may strengthen my passions more. My condolences to his family, friends and fans!#balbirsingh #Balbirhockey pic.twitter.com/figkm8ibBW
— P.T. USHA (@PTUshaOfficial) May 25, 2020
— Ravi Shastri (@RaviShastriOfc) May 25, 2020
Very sad to hear of the demise of legendary Olympian Balbir Singh Sr, 3 time Olympic gold medallist. This was from my last meeting with him at Delhi. He was always smiling, so mentally alert and such a thorough gentleman. What a fine role model 🙏🙏 pic.twitter.com/Sn1wlgdEss
— Viren Rasquinha (@virenrasquinha) May 25, 2020
I was rather shocked to hear the news of legendary Olympian Balbir Singh Sr untimely demise. My heart felt condolences to his family. I pray that the almighty gives his family the strength to withstand this tragic moment. May his soul rest in peace. #RIP pic.twitter.com/ynp8LXG1UV
— sreejesh p r (@16Sreejesh) May 25, 2020
— Manpreet Singh (@manpreetpawar07) May 25, 2020
End of an era in Hockey as our very dear and respected @BalbirSenior passed way. He was a legend. Condolences to the family in this hour of loss. RIP Sir.@TheHockeyIndia @IndiaSports pic.twitter.com/vUnM5XleLu
— Dutee Chand (@DuteeChand) May 25, 2020
Not only the sports fraternity but prominent celebrities, from movie stars to politicians also took to Twitter to pay tribute.
Saddened to hear about the demise of hockey legend #BalbirSingh ji. Have had the good fortune of meeting him in the past, such an amazing personality! My heartfelt condolences to his family 🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/knjOq7VEav
— Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) May 25, 2020
Saddened to learn about passing away of Hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr. A Triple Olympic Gold medallist, he exemplified qualities of perseverance, dedication & sportsmanship. Sir, you will be dearly missed & will forever remain an inspiration! A grateful State bids you farewell. pic.twitter.com/bwQwJyYbdo
— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) May 25, 2020
Saddened to hear about the demise of hockey legend #BalbirSingh ji. My heartfelt condolences to his family 🙏🏻
— Chiranjeev Rao (@Chiranjeev_INC) May 25, 2020