Legendary Hockey player Balbir Singh Kullar passes away
Two time Olympian Balbir Singh Kullar, one of the great hockey player of the country, passes away on February 28, 2020. Born on February 27, 1941 after a cardiac arrest in native place Sansarpur, Punjab. He was 79.
He belonged to Sansarpur village of Jalandhar district in Punjab. Former captain of the All India schools for three years from 1957. A member of the combined University team, he also represented the state while still a DAV College, Jalandhar student.
In 1963, hejoined Punjab Police as Assistant Sub – Inspector and the same year played his first global matches at Lyton in Paris. He was member of the team to the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo. This was historic outing since India team went on to regain the Olympic title. He was also member of India team that won the 1966 Asian Games gold in Bangkok for the first time beating Pakistan 1-0 in the final. Balbir Singh of Railways secured the match – winner during extra – time. He became renowned as as an inside forward in the Indian team.
From 1968 -1975 Kullar was a member of the All India Police team and served as skipper. He was promoted to the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police in 1981, he was selected in the IPS cadre in 1987. He retired as Deputy Inspector General (DIG) in February 2001. He had later served as national hockey team selection.
Balbir Singh Kullar was honoured with Arjuna Award in 1999 for rendering life time contribution for promotion on Indian hockey. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2009. He is survived by his wife Manjeet Kaur and two daughters and a son Kamal Bir Singh.
Dr. Suresh Kumar Lau