Major Dhyan Chand
Major Dhyan Chand was a famous Indian hockey player. Even today, he is considered to be the best hockey player that India has ever produced. At the age of 16, following the footsteps of his father, Dhyan Chand also joined the Indian Army. His outstanding performance in the army hockey tournaments and regimental games brought his hidden potential as a great hockey player into limelight. He was unanimously chosen for the Indian Army team which was to tour New Zealand.
Where was he born?
He was born on 29 August, 1905, in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. His father, Sameshwar Dutt Singh, was a subedar in the Indian Army and played hockey for the Indian Army.
Achievements of Dhyan Chand
The Indian hockey team won three Olympic gold medals—in the year 1928 in Amsterdam, in 1932 at Los Angeles, and in 1936 in Berlin—under the captainship of Major Dhyan Chand.
In 1956, he retired from the Indian Army with the rank of Major and in the same year, he was honoured with the Padma Bhushan award.
After his retirement, Major Dhyan Chand took the position of Chief Hockey Coach at the National Institute of Sports, Patiala.
Last moments and Death
He spent the last part of his life in his hometown, Jhansi. It is saddening to know that in his last days, this legendary player was completely forgotten and ignored by the nation for which he played. He was not even able to get proper medical treatment towards the end. This worthy son of India silently left for his heavenly abode on 3 December, 1979.
7 Interesting Facts about Dhyan Chand
- Major Dhyan Chand’s real name was Dhyan Singh. His first coach, Pankaj Gupta, conferred the title ‘Chand’ upon him in a bid to compare his praiseworthy skillfulness in playing hockey with the shining moon.
- Major Dhyan Chand is also known as the ‘wizard of hockey’.
- In his early days, Dhyan Chand had no interest in playing hockey; he loved wrestling instead.
- He did not wear shoes in the final match of the Berlin Olympics to increase his speed. India won the match 8-1.
- In his career, Major Dhyan Chand scored over 1000 goals.
- He is the only hockey player so far to have been awarded the Padma Bhushan.
- His birthday is celebrated as the Indian Sports Day.