New DelhiHockey was once India’s number one sport, but with time everything changed. India has won 8 gold medals in Olympics. Charanjit Singh, who was the captain of India’s 1964 Tokyo Olympics gold medal winning hockey team, died of a heart attack at his home in Una, Himachal Pradesh. He was also battling age-related ailments for a long time.
Charanjit Singh passed away
Charanjit Singh was about to celebrate his 91st birthday next month. There are two sons and one daughter in his family. Charanjit had suffered a stroke five years ago and was paralyzed since then. His son VP Singh said, ‘He was paralyzed after a stroke five years ago. He used to walk on a stick, but his condition worsened for the last two months. He breathed his last in the morning. He was also in the silver medal winning team of 1960 Rome Olympics, as well as captaining the Olympic gold medal winning team. Apart from this, he was also a member of the silver medal winning team of 1962 Asian Games. Singh said, ‘After my sister comes from Delhi, her last rites will be performed.’
wife died outside years ago
Charanjit Singh’s wife had passed away 12 years ago. His elder son is a doctor in Canada and younger son was with him. His daughter lives in Delhi since marriage. Two-time Olympian Charanjit was a witness to the glory days of Indian hockey. Under the captaincy of charismatic half-back Charanjit, India won the title by defeating Pakistan in the final of the 1964 Olympics. He studied at Colonel Brown Cambridge School and Panjab University in Dehradun. After saying goodbye to a golden career in international hockey, he was also the director of the Department of Physical Education at Himachal Pradesh University in Shimla.
Won medal in 1960
He was one of the heroes of India’s spectacular performance in the 1960 Olympics, but could not play the final against Pakistan due to injury, which India lost by one goal. Four years later, under his captaincy, the team won the yellow medal by paying revenge. He had said in the Hockey India Flashback Series, ‘Both the teams were the strongest teams at that time. Playing against Pakistan in the Olympic final was stressful and the match was stopped several times to cool the minds of the members of both the teams. He had said, ‘I told my boys that instead of talking to them, focus on your game. We had a tough challenge in front of us but we came up with it and came back with a gold medal.
Sports world expressed grief
Hockey India condoled the death of Charanjit and said that India has lost a great player. Hockey India President Gyanandro Nigombam said, ‘It’s a sad day for the hockey world. Even at this stage of age, his eyes used to shine when hockey was mentioned. He had every memory of the glorious days of Indian hockey that he was a part of. He was a great halfback who inspired an entire generation of players. He was a laid-back captain and will always be remembered for his skills on the field and gentleness off the field.