Prithipal singh was an Indian field hockey player also know as “King of Short corner” by the commentators of Hockey(28Jan 1932 to 20 May 1983). He participated in Olympic field hockey three times and each time he scored the highest number of goals as a player.He was a keen player, and the great strength in his long and strong arms produced strong and sticky shots that brought him goals and often won. The Evening Post, New Zealand noted in 1961 that dealing with the fury of Prithipal’s song. Endangering human life.One writer noted that when Arjuna was a mahar (great warrior) in the Mahabharata war, Prithipal was an international hockey player. A hockey player was awarded the title in 1961, which was later followed by the iPadma Shri in 1967.He won Olympic medals in Rome (silver 1960), Tokyo (1964 gold) and Mexico (1968 bronze).
Prithipal Singh Early Life & Education:
Prithipal was born in Nankana Sahib,now Pakistan,On January 28,1932.His father, Sardar Wadhawa Singh Chandi, was a schoolteacher and agricultural expert.Singh completed his MSc degree at the College of Agriculture, Ludhiana in Punjab. Good at both sports and courses, he earned a ‘Roll of Honors’ at his college.After college, Singh joined the Punjab Police and participated in several hockey tournaments in Africa and Europe.
In 1950-54, Singh represented the College hockey team four times and was elected team captain in 1955. He participated in various national hockey tournaments from Punjab and won laurels in every sport. After completing his M.Sc studies in 1956, he joined the Punjab Police as a detective and began playing for the Punjab Police.In 1959, he took part in the Munich festival in Germany where he was judged as the best full-back in the world. That same year he visited all over Europe.
During the Roman Olympics in Rome in 1960, Singh scored two hat-tricks against Denmark and the Netherlands. He has always been a top scorer in the Olympics and has been judged as the best defender. In the international hockey tournament played in Ahmdabad in India, in the final match against Germany, Singh scored the winning goal thus defeating West Germany. He represented the Indian Wanderers Hockey in 1961 who traveled to New Zealand and Australia and participated in the 1962 Asian Games in Indonesia.Within two years, he was awarded the Minister of Railways Award for “Best Railway Sportsman”.
Politicians ordered the IHF election committee to expel Singh from the Indian hockey team in 1963. There has been a lot of uproar in Indian newspapers protesting with one voice: “Has Prithipal become such an unwanted player after resigning from the Punjab police?rather the indian railway police team started winning the championship.
While playing for Indian Railways, Singh gained an important link under the leadership of Charanjit Singh.The indian hockey team was headed by prithipal singh during the Tokyo Olympics in 1964,in which they won the olympics title after defeating pakistan Commenting on the way the Indian team played in Tokyo, Melville de Mellow wrote: “They all played brilliant hockey, but as always there were some very good ones: Prithipal Singh, who scored 11 of 22 goals for India in the tournament will be remembered especially for his athleticism. Rock of Gibraltar “.
Singh participated in the 1966 Asian Games in Bangkok as a member of the Shankar Laxman team. The team won a gold medal in the tournament. In 1967, Singh became the captain of India against rival German and Dutch troops. That same year Singh was the captain of the Indian team in Madrid, Spain and won the tournament and the gold medal in India. In 1968, Singh was elected captain and Gurbakash Singh was the joint captain for the 1968 Olympics held in Mexico.In that tournament, India won a bronze medal, although Prithhipal Singh also became the top scorer at the Olympics.
Prithipal Singh’s Olympic Career:-
Thanks to his consistent performance in overseas competitions, Singh was offered the opportunity to participate in the Italian Olympics in 1960. India reached the finals, but lost to their arch-rivals Pakistan and had to be determined to win a silver medal.
In 1961, Singh became the first hockey player to be honored with an Arjuna medal by former President Rajendra Prasad.
In 1964 at the Tokyo Olympics, the Indian team under captain Charanjit Singh won gold after defeating Pakistan in the final. Of the 22 goals scored in the tournament, Prithipal scored up to 11.For his outstanding performance, Singh was awarded the Padma Shri by former President Zakir Hussain in 1967.During the 1968 Mexico Olympics, Singh helped the Indian team win a bronze medal. He has served as captain alongside Gurubux Singh in this tournament. However, he was accused of creating a ‘bad place’ in the dressing room.
Murder of Indian Hockey Legend Prithipal Singh:-
Disappointed that India finished third in the 1968 Olympics and faced criticism, Singh decided to retire.
He then joined Punjab Agricultural University and worked as a director of sports and student welfare.
No one thought that Singh would be killed by his university students. On the morning of May 20, 1983, Singh’s body was shot dead.However, the university was not the first to be executed in this way. At least six people had already died at the facility before Singh due to a dispute between the unions.After Singh’s assassination, university sources told India Today, “Strong disciplinary measures and his battle to clean up the camp of abusers and troublemakers have brought him into serious conflict with the PSU.”
Prithipal Singh’s Achievements:
From 1950 to 1956, Singh represented the Agricultural College Ludhiana Hockey team and was awarded the “medal award” for all his achievements in sports and education in 1955. The Indian government recognized its prominence in the field of hockey and for the first time. Arjuna’s hockey award was presented to him in 1961 by the President of India, Rajendra Prasad.
In 1963, Singh resigned from the Punjab police and joined the Indian Railways Police. The Indian Railway Police acknowledged his talent and performance in the field of hockey. Singh was awarded the Minister of Railway Award in 1965 for being “Best Railway Sportsman”. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1967 by Indian President Zakir Hussain for his outstanding contributions to world hockey.