Kuala Lumpur [Malaysia], May 25 (ANI): The Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) on Monday paid tribute to legendary hockey player Balbir Singh, who passed away this morning at the age of 95 after battling multiple health issues.
"The Asian Hockey Federation is much aggrieved to learn about the demise of Padma Shri Balbir Singh Dosanjh - an avid hockey legend and a stalwart, three times Olympic gold medal winner for Hockey India. Indeed, this is a sad moment not only for Hockey India, Asian Hockey Community but for the global hockey and sports fraternity," the AHF said in a statement.
"Undeniably Balbir Singh will be remembered not only as a key member of Indian hockey Olympic squad that won Olympic Gold Medals at 1946(London), 1952(Helsinki), and 1956(Melbourne) Olympic Games but for his immense contributions and love for the game of hockey on the pitch and beyond. We will cherish the memories of his hat trick at the 1952 Olympics - a record in the Olympic History (6-1) for the maximum goals in an Olympic Games hockey final," the statement added.
The Chief Executive of AHF, Dato Tayyab Ikram, said Balbir Singh will be remembered for his devotedness and contributions to the field hockey in India and at the global hockey arena.
"With deep sadness, we received the news of the demise of the beloved Padma Shri Balbir Singh Dosanjh. Certainly Balbir Singh will long be remembered for his devotedness and contributions for the field hockey in India and at the global hockey arena as Balbir Singh left behind a legacy which will always be cherished and serve as a beacon for many budding talents. The Asian Hockey family also joins me to extend our deepest condolences on this bereavement," Ikram said in a statement.
The veteran hockey player had suffered a cardiac arrest on May 12. After that, he suffered two more cardiac arrests during the course of his admission to the hospital.
"Balbir Singh passed away this morning," his grandson Kabir said in a statement on Monday.
For Balbir Singh's stellar contribution to the game, he was awarded the Padma Shri, India's fourth-highest civilian honour in 1957 and was conferred with the Major Dhyan Chand Life Time Achievement Award by the Hockey India in 2014. (ANI)