Hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr died on Monday after his battle against multiple health issues for over two weeks. Sportspersons from all corners of the country flooded Twitter with heartfelt condolences on Balbir Singh Sr’s death. India cricket captain Virat Kohli, head coach Ravi Shastri and legendary sprinter PT Usha took to Twitter to remember the “athlete par excellence and a role model beyond words” following his death. “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,” Virat Kohli said on Twitter. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “pained by his demise” while offering condolences to Balbir Singh’s family.
Padma Shri Balbir Singh Sr. Ji will be remembered for his memorable sporting performances. He brought home lots of pride and laurels. Undoubtedly a brilliant hockey player, he also made a mark as a great mentor. Pained by his demise. Condolences to his family and well wishers.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 25, 2020
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
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) May 25, 2020
“#BalBirSingh Ji- A True Giant and a half in his field. Hockey legend out and out. Condolences #BalbirSinghSenior,” India head coach Ravi Shastri said in a tweet.
— Ravi Shastri (@RaviShastriOfc) May 25, 2020
India spinner Kuldeep Yadav joined in, saying: “A brilliant sportsman for our nation whose performances brought great laurels for our country. #RIP Balbir Singh Sr Sir.”
A brilliant sportsman for our nation whose performances brought great laurels for our country. #RIP Balbir Singh Sr Sir.
— Kuldeep yadav (@imkuldeep18) May 25, 2020
“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!” PT Usha tweeted.
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
An absolute legend of the game
Balbir Singh Sr Sir, you will be missed. #RIP champion
— K L Rahul (@klrahul11) May 25, 2020
My heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Balbir Singh ji Sr.
He was one of the greatest to have graced the game of hockey .
May his soul Rest in Peace! pic.twitter.com/Z4tnb6D3OB
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) May 25, 2020
My deepest condolences to Balbir Singh Ji’s family in this hour of grief. An unforgettable hero, may his soul rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/t19ds8JdI6
— Mithali Raj (@M_Raj03) May 25, 2020
Deeply saddened by the tragic demise of India’s legendary Hockey Player – Balbir Singh Sr. He was part of India’s gold medal winning team at 1948 London, 1952 Helsinki & 1956 Melbourne Olympics. I pay my heartfelt tribute and pray for the eternal peace of the departed soul pic.twitter.com/hknd1G5DFz
— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) May 25, 2020
#RIP Balbir Singh Sr Sir, Your contribution to Indian hockey shall never be forgotten.
May God give strength to your loved ones during this time.
— Mayank Agarwal (@mayankcricket) 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
A doyen of Indian sports Shri Balbir Singh Senior is no more. When you look back at his achievements,you just remain awestruck
3 olympic gold medals,five goals in Olympic final.
Manager of World Cup winning team
Possibly among India’s greatest sporting icons.May his soul rest RIP pic.twitter.com/duSN1LvRWH
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) May 25, 2020
Balbir Singh Sr was 96 and is survived by his daughter Sushbir and three sons Kanwalbir, Karanbir, and Gurbir.
“He died at around 6:30 this morning,” Abhijit Singh, Director Fortis Hospital, Mohali, where he was admitted since May 8, told PTI. His grandson Kabir later sent out a message stating, “Nanaji passed away this morning.”
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 a high fever.
“Today, we have not only lost our greatest hockey legend but we have also lost ‘our guiding light’. While his achievements in post-independent era have been well-documented, Balbir Sr remained the greatest fan of the sport and was always there when we needed his advice. Hockey has lost its brightest star and everyone at Hockey India is pained by this news,” Hockey India president Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad stated in a release.
“Balbir Singh Sr’s exemplary achievements, his passion for the sport, his life as an icon of the game will remain an example for generations to come. On behalf of the Federation, I express my deepest condolences to his family,” he added.
Hockey India’s Secretary General Rajinder Singh also expressed condolences, saying: “Balbir Sr’s achievements in hockey cannot be emulated. It is difficult to mention him in past-tense because for us he was always there. One could call on him for advice at anytime, his spirit and adulation for the game will be missed. I am sure even in his absence, his life as a hockey legend will inspire many generations.”
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