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Hockey icon Balbir Singh Sr cremated with state honours

Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Harish Kotian
May 25, 2020 20:22 IST
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Punjab Sports Minister Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi declared that the Mohali stadium will be named after the legendary hockey player.

IMAGE: Senior officials of Punjab government and Chandigarh administration laid wreaths on Balbir Singh Sr's mortal remains during the funeral ceremony in Chandigarh on Monday. Photograph: ANI

Hockey icon Balbir Singh Senior, who died at 96 after battling multiple health issues, was on Monday cremated in Chandigarh 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, 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 in Chandigarh with his daughter Sushbir and grandson Kabir. Sushbir, along with close relatives, was present at the funeral.

Sodhi, who was also present at the funeral, said that Singh's demise is 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.

Punjab CM Amarinder condoles Balbir Singh Sr's death

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday expressed his deep sorrow on the death of Balbir Singh Sr, saying the hockey legend exemplified qualities of perseverance, dedication and sportsmanship and will remain an inspiration for generation of players.

"Saddened to learn about the passing away of Hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr. A Triple Olympic Gold medallist," Amarinder Singh tweeted.

"He exemplified qualities of perseverance, dedication & sportsmanship. Sir, you will be dearly missed & will forever remain an inspiration! A grateful State bids you farewell," Singh added.

Punjab Governor and Chandigarh Union Territory Administrator, V P Singh Badnore also expressed his grief over Singh's death, saying it was a personal loss to him.

"Heartfelt condolences on the passing away of Triple#Olympics#Gold Medalist coach of #World Cup winning teams# PadamShree@Balbir Senior," Badnore tweeted.

"His passing away is a personal loss as I shared a personal bonding with him. Fine human being legend in his own life forever remembered in Chd&Pb."     

The three-time Olympic gold medallist was in a semi-comatose state since May 18 and had developed a blood clot in his brain after being first admitted to the hospital for bronchial pneumonia with high fever. He was tested for COVID-19 but reports came out negative.

Singh suffered three cardiac arrests during the course of his treatment.

One of the country's most accomplished athletes, Singh was the only Indian among 16 legends chosen by the International Olympic Committee across modern Olympic history.

His world record for most goals scored by an individual in the men's hockey final of the Olympics still remains unbeaten.

He had scored five goals in India's 6-1 victory over the Netherlands in the gold medal match of the 1952 Helsinki Games. He was conferred with the Padma Shri in 1957.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Harish Kotian© Copyright 2020 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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