Major Dhyan Chand

Major Dhyan Chand

1 . Dhyan Chand Biography

Dhyan Chand was born on 29th August, 1905 at Allahabad. His father was in the British Indian army. Dhyan Chand spent most of his early time at Jhansi. At the age of 16 Dhyan Chand joined the army and took to serious hockey. In the year 1926, he was selected for the Indian hockey team slated to tour New Zealand. Thereafter, Dhyan Chand played a monumental role in India winning 3 successive Olympic hockey gold medals (in 1928, 1932 and 1936).

In the year 1934, Dhyan Chand was appointed the captain of the Indian hockey and subsequently captained the gold winning team at the Berlin Olympics in 1936. At the Berlin Olympics, Hitler was so impressed with his play that he offered to make him colonel in the German army, if he agreed to play for Germany. At the age of 43, he led the hockey team to the tour of East Africa in 1947. In this tour Dhyan Chand scored 61 goals in 21 matches that India played. After an illustrious carrier of 30 years, Dhyan Chand bid adieu to international hockey in 1949. He retired as Major and was also the Chief Hockey Coach at the National Institute of Sports. For his extraordinary achievements, the Indian government awarded him the Padma Bhusan in 1956. Throughout his carrier, Dhyan Chand scored more than 1000 goals. On Dec 3, 1979 this hockey legend passed away.

2 . Achievements and Accolades

Players like Dhyanchand become a synonym of the game; he is not a hero; he has become the parameter of hockey by which other players caliber is measured. It is surprising to know that Dhyan Chand, who came to be known as hockeys magician, started playing hockey only after joining the army! Dhyanchand took to playing hockey in army and was included in the Indian Hockey team for the 1926 New Zealand tour.By his superior play, Dhyan Chand was held in high esteem within the country as well as outside. Dhyan Chand helped India in winning gold medals in hockey in 3 successive Olympics games Amsterdam Olympics (1928), Los Angles Olympics (1932) and Berlin Olympics (1936). He was the captain of the gold medal winner Indian Hockey team in the historic 1936 Berlin Olympics. Dhyan Chand scored 101 goals at the Olympic Games and 300 goals in other international matches. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Indian government, in the year 1954. Dhyan Chands birthday (Aug 29) is observed as the national sports day.

3 . Turning Point

Dhyanchand joined the army at the age of 16 and this proved a turning point of his carrier. It was from there that Dhyan Chand started playing hockey. After that Dhyanchand rose in the hockey field like a meteor. This became an important milestone of his carrier.

4 . Early Promise

As soon as Dhyan Chand joined the army, his tryst with hockey began. After that there was no looking back for this magician of Indian hockey, popularly known as hockeys jadoogar. His exciting stick work encouraged the army to allow him to concentrate on the game. Dhyan Chand took part in the inter provincial hockey championship and made an immediate impact on the national hockey scene. From the very outset Dhyan Chand showed a lot of promise and the day was not far away when he joined the ranks of the Indian hockey.

5 . Ups And Downs

Once Dhyan Chand started playing hockey, there was no looking back for him. In fact, he went on scaling great heights in hockey and achieved great feats. Dhyan Chand rose in international hockey like a meteor and kept shining like the Sun. Soon Dhyan Chand became folklore. Such was the charisma of this legend that people thought that he had some magic in his hockey sticks. Dhyan Chands name became synonymous with hockey. So great was the standard of his hockey that he never had any lean patches in his playing carrier.

6 . Achievements

Won 3 gold medals in Olympic games Awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1956.Dhyan Chand Singh was an Indian Hockey player, and considered to be the all time greatest player the game of Hockey has ever seen the world over. He has probably been the only Indian player ever in any sport which skills so high that generated a number of myths about his abilities as a Hockey player.

7 . Early Life

He was born on the 29th of August 1905 at Prayag (Allahabad), Uttar Pradesh to a Bais Rajput family. His father served the Indian Army as a Subedar, and played the game of Hockey. Initially known as Dhyan Singh, he had 2 brothers named Mool Singh and Roop Singh, the latter one too being an accomplished Hockey player. Dhyan could not resume his studies after 6th standard as his family used to move from one place to another, before finally settling down permanently at Jhansi.

8 . Introduction to Hockey

In his younger days, Dhyan was not much interested into sports although he liked wrestling a lot. He started playing Hockey with his friends who used to themselves make Hockey sticks from tree branches and balls from ragged clothes. At the age of 14 years he visited a Hockey match with his father, where one team was down by 2 goals. He insisted his father to play from the losing side, and when an Army Officer let him do so, Dhyan scored 4 goals for the team. Impressed by his skills, the Officer offered him to join the army and at the age of 16 years Dhyan was inducted into the Punjab Regiment as a Sepoy in the year 1922. Subedar Major Bhole Tiwari of Brahmin Regiment became Dhyans mentor inside the Army and taught him the basics of the game. Pankaj Gupta was the first Coach of Dhyan Singh who predicted that one day he would shine like the Moon, called Chand in Hindi. Hence, Dhyan Singh came to be known as Dhyan Chand after that.

9 . Beginning of Legendry Days

There are many incidents that describe the grandeur of Dhyan Chands amazing skills as a wonderful Hockey player. In one of them, he scored 3 goals in the last 4 minutes of a match wherein his team was losing by 2 goals, and got his team the victory in the match. This was the Final match of the Punjab Infantry Tournament in Jhelum. After this match, Dhyan Chand was named the Hockey Wizard.Dhyan Chand delivered brilliant performance in the first Inter Provincial (National) Hockey tournament that was organized in the year 1925. Five teams, viz. United Provices (UP), Punjab, Bengal, Rajputana and Central Provinces participated in the tournament. On the basis of his performance in the tournament, he was selected for the International Hockey team of India.

10 . International Career

In the year 1926 Dhyan Chand was selected for the Indian Hockey team going to visit New Zealand at a tour. During the tour, the Indian team scored 20 goals in a match played at Dannkerke, and Dhyan Chand alone had scored 10 of them. India played 21 matches on the tour, out of which it won 18, lost 1 and drew 2 matches. The team scored a total number of 192 goals and Dhyan Chand alone had scored over 100 of them. After his return to India, he was promoted to the post of Lance Nayak in the Army. At the London Folkstone Festival in 1927, he scored 36 goals out of Indias total 72 goals, in 10 matches played at the event.He played for the Indian Hockey team in the Amsterdam Olympic Games 1928, and scored 2 out of the 3 goals in the final match against Netherlands, getting India the Gold Medal by a 3 0 win. In the Los Angeles Olympics 1932, the Indian team led by Lal Shah Bukhari again won the Gold Medal. In the tournament, the Indian Hockey team defeated the USA Hockey team by 23 1, which remained a world record until it was broken in the year 2003. Out of these 23 goals, 8 were scored alone by Dhyan Chand. In the event, Dhyan Chand scored 12 goals for India in 2 matches.

In the Berlin Olympics 1932, Indian had successfully treaded their path to the finals crushing Hungary by 4 0, USA by 7 0 and Japan 9 0 without conceding a single goal in the tournament. The team defeated France in the Semi Finals by 10 goals, and was going to combat Germany in the Finals. In the Final match, the Indian squad could score only 1 goal till the interval. Dhyan Chand removed his shoes in the interval and played the match barefooted onwards. The Indian team won the match and the Gold medal by 8 1.Adolf Hitler, the German dictator supposedly offered Dhyan Chand a higher post in the German Army than the one he was holding in the Indian Army, but he politely denied the offer. He kept playing till the age of 42 years, and retired from the game in the year 1948. Dhyan Chand met Don Bradman, the Cricket Maestro at Adelaide in the year 1935. After watching him play Hockey, Bradman commented He scores goals like runs in Cricket.

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