'An absolute legend' - Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar pay tribute as hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr passes away at 95

‘An absolute legend’ – Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar pay tribute as hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr passes away at 95

Balbir Singh Sr holds the world record for scoring most goals in an Olympic final.

Sachin Tendulkar, Balbir Singh Sr and Virat Kohli
Sachin Tendulkar, Balbir Singh Sr and Virat Kohli. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Balbir Singh Sr, a three-time Olympic gold medallist left Indian fans mourning as he breathed his last on Monday at Fortis Hospital in Mohali at the age of 95. This news spread like wildfire across the country. And, many renowned personalities along with cricketers shared their grief over the demise of the hockey legend.

In the year 2018, Bollywood director Reema Kagti had directed a movie ‘Gold’ in which Akshay Kumar played Team India’s manager when the side travelled to play their first Olympics in London in 1948. In that movie, a character named Himmat Singh was inspired by the late hockey legend.

Balbir Singh Sr, in 1948, scored two goals in Olympic final against the host England that helped India in winning the match by 4-0. It was a big day in the history of India as they managed to win their first Olympic Gold medal post independence. Afterwards, he also played an important role in the 1952 and 1956 Olympics in which the national side won consecutive golds in hockey.

Balbir Singh Sr was one of the greatest: Sachin Tendulkar

He was also appointed as the manager of the national team for some time after he bid adieu to the game. The legendary player died due to multiple health issues. There is no doubt over the fact that he was a warrior, who fought for two weeks before he took his last breath on Monday.

He was the first sports personality to be honoured with the Padma Shri award in 1957. Also, he holds the record for scoring most number of goals in an Olympic final (5). He achieved this milestone against Holland in 1952.

Cricket fraternity was left shocked when the demise of Balbir Singh Sr. And, many cricketers came out and offered a tribute to the hockey legend for giving such wonderful memories to the country.

Current India skipper Virat Kohli took to his Twitter handle and shared condolences by saying, “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.”

Here is how cricketers reacted: