Hockey legend Balbir Singh Kular, who was part of Indian team that won the bronze medal at the 1968 Mexico Olympics, has died, the national federation announced on Sunday. Also Read - FIH Hockey Pro League 2020: PR Sreejesh Stars as India Beat Australia in Penalty Shootout
He was 77.
“My father was to travel with me to the US but suddenly he had a massive heart attack and he died on Friday afternoon at our family home in Sansarpur in Jalandhar district,” his son Kamalbir Singh, who is based in US, told PTI.
Kullar will be cremated on Monday.
“His last rites will be done on Monday because my son and his grandson just arrived from the US. One of my elder sisters is based in Canada and the other is in US, they also arrived on Sunday,” he said.
Hockey India offered its condolences on his demise.
“We are deeply saddened by the demise of our former hockey player and a two-time Olympic medallist, Balbir Singh Kullar,” Hockey India posted on their Twitter handle. “We send out our heartfelt condolences to his family. On behalf of Hockey India, our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Balbir Singh Kullar’s family and friends at this time of grief.”
Born in Sansarpur village of Jalandhar (Punjab), he made India debut in 1963 in Lyon (France).
He joined the Indian Army where in rose to the rank of colonel. Apart from the Olympic medal, he was also member of the squad that won the gold medal at the 1966 Asian Games in Bangkok.
An inside forward he was part of several international tours including to Belgium, England, the Netherlands, New Zealand and West Germany.
After retiring, he later served as the coach of the national team before assuming the role of a selector.