Hockey icon Balbir Singh Senior, who died at 96 after battling multiple health issues, was on Monday cremated here with full state honours, with Punjab Sports Minister Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi declaring that the Mohali stadium will be named after the legendary player.
The mortal remains of the three-time Olympic gold medallist was consigned to flames at an electric crematorium here, with his maternal grandson Kabir performing the last rites in the presence of Sikh priests.
The legendary centre-forward is survived by his daughter Sushbir and three sons — Kanwalbir, Karanbir, and Gurbir. His sons are settled in Canada and he lived here with his daughter Sushbir and grandson Kabir. Sushbir, along with close relatives, was present at the funeral.
Balbir Singh Sr, one of India's greatest hockey players, died on Monday after battling multiple health issues for over two weeks. He was given a guard of honour at the funeral held in Chandigarh's Sector 25. pic.twitter.com/0jcy13EnEK
— Express Punjab (@iepunjab) May 25, 2020
Sodhi, who was also present at the funeral, said that Singh’s demise was a big blow not just for the sporting world, but also for the nation as a whole. He said the Mohali hockey stadium will be named after Singh. Former Indian hockey team captain Pargat Singh was also present.
Senior officials of Punjab government and Chandigarh administration laid wreaths on Singh’s mortal remains. A police contingent fired three volley shots as a mark of respect to the departed soul. Singh’s body was earlier brought from the Fortis hospital at Mohali to his residence at Sector 36 from where it was taken to the crematorium in a bedecked vehicle.