Varinder Singh Wiki, Age, Death, Wife, Family, Biography & More

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Varinder Singh

Varinder Singh (1947–2022) was an Indian field hockey player. He was known to be an integral part of some of the memorable victories won by the Indian men’s hockey team in the 1970s. In 1975, he was part of the Hockey World Cup winning Indian team. He breathed his last on 28 June 2022 at a hospital in Jalandhar, Punjab.

Wiki/Biography

Varinder Singh was born on Friday, 16 May 1947.age 75 years; by 2022) in village Dhannowali, Jalandhar, Punjab (then British Raj), India. His zodiac sign is Taurus. Varinder, who was inclined towards sports from a young age, started taking hockey training at an early age.

An old picture of Varinder Singh

An old picture of Varinder Singh

Physical Appearance

Height (approx.): 5′ 3″

Weight (approx): 60 kg

Hair Color: salt and pepper

Eye Colour: brown

Varinder Singh

family

He belonged to a Sikh family. Not much is known about his parents and siblings.

career

domestic hockey

Varinder Singh was recruited into the Indian Railways hockey team in the 1960s. During his tenure in Railways, he played with the likes of Balbir Singh Randhawa and 1964 Olympic gold medalist Harbinder Singh.

Varinder Singh during the National Hockey Tournament

Varinder Singh during the National Hockey Tournament

In several national and other major tournaments, he was pitted against Harcharan Singh of the Punjab team, the 1972 Munich Olympic bronze medalist. He was also made to play against the service team against 1968 Mexico Olympics bronze medalist Balbir Singh Kular. During an interview, Harcharan recalled his pairing with Varinder at the domestic level, saying,

Varinder would go on to become one of India’s best right-wingers and I would be considered one of India’s best left-in wingers. During nationals and tournaments like Nehru Gold Cup, it will be a duel between us.”

Varinder Singh (left) fighting for the ball with Harcharan Singh during the Nehru Gold Cup final in 1970

Varinder Singh (left) fighting for the ball with Harcharan Singh during the Nehru Gold Cup final in 1970

international hockey

Varinder started his international hockey career at the 1972 Munich Olympics, where he represented India; He was selected for the Olympics as Kular’s reserve. He was part of many memorable victories of the Indian team in the 1970s. He played for Team India during the 1974 and 1978 Asian Games. The Indian men’s hockey team won silver medals in both the games. A two-time Olympian, Varinder represented India at the 1975 Montreal Olympics (hockey) and the 1972 Summer Olympics. In 1975, he was an integral part of the only World Cup winning Indian hockey team; The Indian men’s hockey team defeated arch-rivals Pakistan 2–1 in the final of the 1975 Hockey World Cup in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

1975 world cup winning Indian hockey team

1975 world cup winning Indian hockey team

During the World Cup, Varinder played a key role in India’s 3–1 win over Germany in the pool stage, which was an essential game.

Varinder Singh is fourth from the right along with other members of the Indian men's hockey team that won the 1975 Hockey World Cup

Varinder Singh (fourth from right) with other members of the Indian men’s hockey team that won the 1975 Hockey World Cup

hockey coach

After his retirement from the Indian men’s hockey team, Varinder worked with a few hockey training institutes as a coach. He was associated with Punjab & Sind Bank Hockey team as a coach for more than eight years. From 2008 to 2021, he worked as a hockey coach in the Punjab Sports Department. In 2021, Varinder joined the Lyallpur Khalsa College for Women, Jalandhar as a hockey coach. He was also training the students of Round Glass Hockey Academy, Jalandhar.

Varinder Singh with hockey players at Lyallpur Khalsa Women's College in Jalandhar

Varinder Singh with hockey players at Lyallpur Khalsa Women’s College in Jalandhar

Death

Varinder Singh died on 28 June 2022 in a hospital in Jalandhar. His age was 75 years. The entire Indian Hockey Federation is in deep shock due to his sudden demise. Condoling the death of Varinder Singh during a press release, Hockey Federation of India said,

The achievements of Varinder Singh will be remembered by the hockey fraternity across the world.

Hockey India also expressed its grief through a tweet, which reads,

In the light of the sad demise of the legendary hockey player Shri Varinder Singh, we pray to the almighty to rest the departed soul in peace and give strength to the family members to bear this irreparable loss.”

A post created by Hockey India in memory of Varinder Singh

A post created by Hockey India in memory of Varinder Singh

Condoling the demise of the hockey coach, Avtar Singh, coach of Surjeet Hockey Academy, Jalandhar, while interacting with the media said,

It is a great loss for Indian hockey as well as Punjab hockey. Varinder Singh was one of the best right-halfs in the country along with Krishnamurthy Perumal in the 1970s and after retiring, he ensured that he remained in touch with the game through coaching. After coaching the Punjab & Sind Bank hockey team for more than eight years, he worked as a coach with the Punjab Sports Department since 2008 and joined a private academy last year.

His students and colleagues remember him as a humble, down to earth, punctual and a good human being. Kulbir Saini, Office Secretary, Hockey Punjab, recalling his death said,

I have never seen anyone so punctual like him. Whenever he would train young players, I would often sit with him, watch and learn from him. When he was around, I would just love to see the style of teaching.”

His last rites took place on 28 June 2022 in his native village Dhannowali in Jalandhar. Moments before his funeral, budding Indian hockey players raised their hockey sticks at the crematorium to pay tribute to him.

Debutant Indian hockey players paying tribute at the crematorium at Dhannowali, the native village of Varinder Singh, in Jalandhar.

Debutant Indian hockey players paying tribute at the crematorium at Dhannowali, the native village of Varinder Singh, in Jalandhar.

medal

Olympic Games

  • Bronze medal at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich

hockey world cup

  • Silver medal at the 1973 Men’s Hockey World Cup in Amsterdam
  • Gold medal at the 1975 Men’s Hockey World Cup in Kuala Lumpur

asian games

  • Silver medal at the 1974 Asian Games in Tehran
  • Silver medal at the 1978 Asian Games in Bangkok

Facts / Trivia

  • Varinder Singh was considered one of the best right-half hockey players of India during the 1970s.
  • In 2007, the then President of India Pratibha Patil honored him with the prestigious Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to Indian hockey.
    Varinder Singh receiving the Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award

    Varinder Singh receiving the Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award

  • During an interview, Sports Whistle Blower Iqbal Singh Sandhu shared an interesting anecdote saying,

    Once there was a match between the Indian hockey team and Australia. Since Varinder was short in stature, he heard Australian players commenting on his height that he was a ‘small man’. After that he started the game and dodged the ball for several minutes which drove him (Australian players) crazy. The players then said that he was a ‘dangerous man’. Varinder Singh himself told us this.

  • A few days before his death, he used to travel a distance of 8 km on his scooter to coach hockey students. Talking about it in a media interaction, Jasdeep Kaur, a national level hockey player who was being coached by Singh, said,

    How can a man of his age travel 8 km in the sweltering heat to train on his scooter without a break? He will arrive 15 minutes before the actual training time. This is the only life lesson that I think I will always follow. ,

  • Apparently he had trained Tokyo Olympic player Gurjit Kaur. Gurjit had scored many goals in the Olympics.
  • In an interview, sharing how he used to inspire his students, one of his students said,

    Kade vi eh nahi kehne, ki main thak gayi, nai te kal vi uss mana naal aaoge (After the completion of the practice session, you should not say that I am tired, as it will affect your mood and you will be happy next time) Will come with the same mindset. Always say I am fit, I enjoy practicing and I will do it again tomorrow, only then you will be able to excel.”



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