Glowing tributes continue to pour in for Balbir Singh Senior, former captain and coach of the Indian hockey team, who passed away in Mohali Monday.
Many players from Pakistan also joined in to pay tribute to the 96-year-old legend.
Pakistan’s former captain Samiullah, who was known as ‘the flying horse’ for both his speed and skill in the field said that Balbir’s death is a huge loss for the global sports fraternity.
“He had amazing flexibility, speed, and litheness in his game. His sprints were a treat to watch. Hockey has lost a big name as Balbir Singh was someone who enabled India to win three consecutive gold medals in the 1948, 1952 and 1956 Olympics because of his outstanding game,” Samiullah, who won a World Cup gold medal and kissed yellow metal in three Asian Games was quoted as saying by Indian news agency Press Trust of India (PTI).
Asif Bajwa, the Secretary-General of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), said Balbir was one the greatest players the game has ever seen.
“Never saw him play but we heard so much about him from our seniors that it is clear he was a striker in a different class,” Bajwa told PTI.
Not just former players but also many renowned sports journalists from across the border expressed their shock on Balbir’s death.
Speaking to the India Narrative from Karachi, Shahid Hashmi, who has covered sports extensively for many international newspapers and agencies, recalled his meeting with the late legend a few years ago.
“Sad to hear about Balbir saheb’s passing away. I met him during a tour of India a few years ago. He spoke so sweetly and lovingly that I was enamoured. I can’t forget that meeting at all. May almighty bless him. Rest in peace, Balbir saheb,” said Hashmi.