“He died at around 6:30 this morning,” Abhijit Singh, Director Fortis Hospital, Mohali, where he was admitted on May 8, told PTI.
Regarded as one of the greatest sports persons to have represented India, the hockey maestro had been fighting a pulmonary illness over the last two years, with multiple admissions to the intensive care unit.
Balbir Singh, who captained India at the 1956 Olympic Games and was also the manager of the 1975 World Cup-winning team, was most recently admitted to the hospital on May 8 in a serious state of multi-organ failure and remained on ventilator assistance.
He suffered multiple cardiac arrests during the course of his admission before breathing his last on May 25.
Balbir Singh was the first hockey player to be awarded the Padma Shri in 1957. In 1977, he came up with his autobiography ‘The Golden Hat Trick: My Hockey Days’.
His world record for most goals scored by an individual in the men’s hockey final of the Olympics still remains unbeaten.
After finishing his active hockey career, he also served as Secretary of the Punjab State Sports Council and Director of Sports in the Punjab Government, retiring from his duty in 1992.
He made his last public appearance at the Times of India Sports Awards (TOISA) on March 5 this year.
The iconic player was 95 and is survived by his daughter Sushbir and three sons Kanwalbir Singh, Karanbir Singh and Gurbir Singh.