Legendary former hockey player Balbir Singh Sr’s heart rate and blood pressure is nearly stable but his condition remains critical. He had been admitted last week at Fortis Mohali and continues to be in a “semi-comatose condition,” according to a statement by his grandson.
“MRI brain report shows a small fresh blood clot in the brain which is insufficient to explain continued unconsciousness,” said the statement.
“Treatment is being attempted. He continues to be on ventilator support. Doctors are continuously assessing his condition.”
The 96-year-old was hospitalised on May 8 with high fever and breathing trouble. His COVID-19 test came negative.
Balbir was part of the Indian teams that won gold at the 1948 London Olympics, Helsinki 1952 and Melbourne 1956. His record for most individual goals scored in an Olympic men’s hockey final remains unbeaten. Balbir had set this record when he scored five goals in India’s 6-1 win over the Netherlands in the gold medal match of the 1952 Games.
He was the head coach of the Indian team for the 1975 men’s World Cup, which India won and the 1971 men’s World Cup, where India earned a bronze medal. He was also conferred with the prestigious Padma Shri in 1957.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had also wished the legend a speedy recovery.
“Saddened to know that Balbir Singh Senior Ji had a heart attack today and is in ICU now in a critical state. Praying for your speedy recovery, sir,” Amarinder had tweeted.