The legend of Indian hockey, Balbir Singh was born on October 10, 1924 in Haripur, Punjab. He was one of the best centre-forwards India has ever produced.
Balbir served Indian hockey for almost forty years as a player, captain, manager and coach. He participated in three consecutive Olympics in 1948, 1952 and 1956 and India won all the three Olympic gold medals. He was the flag-bearer of the Indian Olympic contingent in 1952 Helsinki and in 1956 Melbourne Olympics.
In 1971, the Indian hockey team won the silver medal and in 1975 India won gold in the World Cup. He was also involved as a player and manager when India won silver medals in 1958, 1970 and 1982 Asian Games. During the 1982 Asian Games held in New Delhi, he lit the sacred flame.
For his contribution to the Indian hockey, Indian government honoured him with the Padma Shri and he was the first hockey player to receive it.