Balbir Singh in action against Great Britain at the London 1948 Olympic Games Final

Balbir Senior


Balbir Singh Dosanjh (Senior)

 Date and place of Birth 10.10.1924 in Haripur, Jullundur
 College Khalsa College, Amritsar
 Club Punjab Police
 Playing position Centre forward
 First international 06.05.1947 v Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in Colombo
 Last international 30.05.1958 v Pakistan in Tokyo, Japan
 Olympic Games London 1948; Helsinki 1952; Melbourne 1956 (capt)
 Hockey idol Dhyan Chand (India)


Olympic Games






 London 1948 04.08.1948 Group A India 9 - Argentina 1


 London 1948 12.08.1948 Final India 4 - Great Britain 0


 Helsinki 1952 17.07.1952 Quarter-Final India 4 - Australia 0


 Helsinki 1952 20.07.1952 Semi-Final India 3 - Great Britain 1


 Helsinki 1952 24.07.1952 Final India 6 - Netherlands 1


 Melbourne 1956 26.11.1956 Group A India 14 - Afghanistan 0


 Melbourne 1956 03.12.1956 Semi-Final India 1 - Germany 0


 Melbourne 1956 06.12.1956 Final India 1 - Pakistan 0



Balbir Singh Dosanjh, affectionately known world over as Balbir Senior, was born in Haripur in Jullundhur, Punjab, India. He studied at Dev Samag High School, Moga; D M College & Khalsa College, Amritsar

He played for Punjab University and captained the University team that won the inter-varsity Championship in 1945.

He played for Punjab Police from 1945 to 1961 and captained the team.

He played for unified Punjab team who won the National Championship in 1946 and 1947 and after independence the Punjab team that won the Indian Championship in 1949, 1950, 1951 and 1954, captaining the team in 1949.

Balbir first wore the Indian colours in 1947 when he was selected for the team that toured Sri Lanka in 1947.

A centre forward known for his speed and body swerve he scored six goals on his debut against Argentina at London 1948 Olympic Games. He followed this up with two goals against Great Britain in the Final.

He was in his prime at Helsinki 1952 Olympic Games. He was flag bearer of the Indian Olympic team. He scored 9 of India's 13 goals which included a hat-trick against Great Britain in the semi-finals and five goals against Holland in the Final. This feat still remains as a record of most goals scored in an Olympic Final.

He was the Captain at Melbourne 1956 Olympic Games where India won the Gold and Balbir his third consecutive gold medal. He was also the flag bearer of Indian team.

He was awarded the Indian National Award, ‘Padma Shri' in 1957. He was the first hockey player to receive this award. The following year he led the Indian team in the Asian Games.

After retiring from playing, he turned to Coaching and Management.  He was the Team Manager when India won the Bronze medal at the 1st World Cup in Barcelona in 1971 and the Gold in Kuala Lumpur in 1975.

He lit the torch at the opening ceremony of the Asian Games in New Delhi in 1982.

He was the Secretary of the Punjab State Sports Council and Director of Sport in the Punjab Government till his retirement in 1982. An indoor stadium in Moga has been named after him.

Balbir's Autobiography - ‘The Golden Hat Trick' was published in 1977. Balbir Singh published his second hockey book, The Golden Yardstick: In Quest of Hockey Excellence in June 2008.

In April 2005 Balbir was honoured by the Hockey Writers' Club with Honorary Life Membership of the Club at a ceremony at Southgate Hockey Club in London.

Balbir Singh was chosen as the top Sikh Hockey Player of all time by a panel of judges in April 2006 in New Delhi.

Balbir died in Monday 25 May 2020 in Chandigarh, India.


Guinness World Record Certificate

"The most goals scored by an individual

in an Olympic men's hockey final

is 5 by Balbir Singh Sr. (India)

in India's 6 - 1 victory over Holland

in the gold medal game of the

1952 Olympic Games.

It was the fifth of six consecutive

gold medal triumphs by India."