In a recent development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday paid tribute to Indian hockey legend Balbir Singh Senior, who breathed his last aged 95.

“Padma Shri Balbir Singh Sr. Ji will be remembered for his memorable sporting performances. He brought home lots of pride and laurels. Undoubtedly a brilliant hockey player, he also made a mark as a great mentor. Pained by his demise. Condolences to his family and well-wishers,” PM Modi wrote on Twitter.

Singh steered India to as many as three gold medals at the Olympics and was also the manager of the hockey team that managed to lift the 1975 Hockey World Cup.

The three-time hockey gold medallist was in a state of semi-comatose since 18 May and had developed a blood cot in his brain after being hospitalised for bronchial pneumonia with high fever. During the course of his treatment, he suffered three cardiac arrests.

One of India’s most successful sporting stars, the former centre-forward was the only Indian among 16 legends selected by the International Olympic Committee across modern Olympic history.

Balbir remains record-holder for the most number of goals scored by an individual in the men’s hockey finals of the Olympics, decades after he hung up his boots.

Balbir had netted 5 goals in India’s 6-1 win over the Netherlands in the final match of the 1952 Helsinki Olympics- a record which stands testimony to the genius he was on the field and how he enhanced his game during high-pressure matches.

For his unmatched contribution to Indian hockey, he was conferred the Padma Shri in 1957.