Akshay Kumar mourns demise of hockey legend Balbir Singh Senior

Mumbai, May 25 (IANS) Actor Akshay Kumar expressed his grief through a Twitter post on the demise of legendary hockey player Balbir Singh Senior, and remembered his “amazing personality”.

With his social media post, Akshay also shared a picture where he is seen sharing a moment with the late sportsman.

“Saddened to hear about the demise of hockey legend #BalbirSingh ji. Have had the good fortune of meeting him in the past, such an amazing personality! My heartfelt condolences to his family,” Akshay wrote.

A three-time Olympic gold medallist, Balbir Singh Senior died this morning at a private hospital in Mohali. The 96-year-old was undergoing treatment at Fortis Hospital Mohali and was in a “semi-comatose condition”. He was hospitalised on May 8 with high fever and breathing trouble. His COVID-19 test had come negative.

“Nanaji passed away this morning,” his grandson Kabir said in a statement.

In January last year, Balbir Singh Senior was discharged from PGI after spending more than 100 days in the hospital, where he underwent treatment for bronchial pneumonia.

The legendary centre forward was part of the Indian teams that won gold at the 1948 London Olympics, Helsinki 1952 and Melbourne 1956.

His record for most individual goals scored in an Olympic men’s hockey final remains unbeaten. Balbir had set this record when he scored five goals in India’s 6-1 win over Netherlands in the gold medal match of the 1952 Games.

He was the head coach of the Indian team for the 1975 men’s World Cup, which India won and the 1971 men’s World Cup, where India earned a bronze medal. He was also conferred with the prestigious Padma Shri in 1957.

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