Famous Hockey Players of India: India is a country where cricket is a major sport, but along with it, there are many other sports that rule the hearts of the people here, including hockey. Hockey has the status of a national sport in India. The past of hockey in India has been quite golden. India has so far won 8 Olympic gold, one silver and two bronze medals in hockey.
The success of hockey in India started in the year 1928 when it won its first gold medal in the Olympics. Since then, India has remained a formidable force in the world of hockey and has produced many of the best hockey players in India.
In this post, we will talk about famous hockey players of India who have ruled the world of hockey and contributed a lot to its growth and development.
Famous Hockey Players of India
1. Major Dhyan Chand
Also Read: Legendary Major Dhyan Chand
When we talk about the most famous hockey players of India, one name always comes to the fore and that is Dhyan Chand. He is the player who completely changed the field of hockey. And the reason is that he is considered the GOAT of the hockey world i.e. Greatest of all time. And that’s why he is called “The Wizard” of hockey.
Dhyan Chand was born on 29 August 1905. He started his hockey career in the army. He represented India in three consecutive Olympics in 1928, 1932, and 1936 and won the gold medal. He was also the captain of the Indian hockey team in 1936 and scored three goals in the final that year against Germany.
Dhyan Chand was a very talented player, there was no one like him, nor is there and it isn’t easy to be. He was known for his dribbling, ball centre and speed. Because of this he also got a special name The Wizard. His contribution to hockey is immeasurable, he was a player who would continue to inspire many generations to come.
2. Balbir Singh Sr.
In the world of Indian hockey, one player who has got his name registered in the golden pages of the past is Balbir Singh Sr., He was born on 31 October 1924 in Punjab, a state in India. He started his hockey journey in 1942. Balbir Singh Sr. was part of the Indian team that won the gold medal three times in a row in 1948, 1952 and 1956.
Balbir Singh Sr. is the only player in the world of hockey who has scored 5 goals in the final of the Olympics. He did this feat in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. India defeated the Netherlands 3-1 in the final. Balbir Singh was known for his goalscoring ability.
Even after retiring from hockey, he did not distance himself from it. Rather, he was involved in other ways, such as as a coach and administrator. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1957 and the Padma Bhushan in 1999 for his contribution to Indian hockey.
3. Dhanraj Pillay
There is another name in the list of Famous Hockey Players of India who has been a very famous and successful player and that is Dhanraj Pillai. He was born on July 16, 1968, in Maharashtra. He started his hockey journey in 1989.
Dhanraj Pillai has represented India in four Olympics and won the gold medal in the 1998 Asian Games. He was a very talented player and was known for his ball control, speed and dribbling skills.
Dhanraj Pillai has also been the captain of the Indian hockey team and he was also an amazing leader and has represented Indian hockey for many years. He has been awarded the Padma Shri in 2000 for his work in hockey.
4. Leslie Claudius
The next name in the list of Famous Hockey Players of India is Leslie Claudius. He is a very legendary Indian hockey player. He has represented India in a total of 4 Olympics and has won 3 gold and one silver. Leslie Claudius was born on March 25, 1927, in Bengal and started his hockey career in 1945.
Leslie Claudius was a very talented player. His hockey game was incredible, and his many talents such as goal scoring and half back helped the team a lot.
After retirement, Leslie Claudius found his new role in the world of hockey and started serving hockey as a coach and administrator. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1971 and the Padma Bhushan in 1990 for his phenomenal work for Indian hockey.
5. Pargat Singh
The next and last name in the list of the Top 5 Famous Hockey Players of India is Pargat Singh. He was a very good hockey player and later became a politician. He was born on 15 March 1965 in Punjab. He started his hockey journey in 1983.
Pargat Singh has represented India in many competitions and was part of the team that won the 1986 Asian Games gold medal and the 1990 World Cup silver medal. He was a very talented player and an amazing defender. He was one of the best defenders in the world of his time.
After retiring from hockey, Pargat Singh joined politics and served as an MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly) from Punjab. He also worked as the Director of Sports in Punjab and did many things to promote sports in the state.