Olympian Dhanraj Pillay led the hockey fraternity in paying tributes to former hockey centre-half, Ravindra Pal Singh, who died of Covid-related complications in Lucknow on Saturday morning. Ravindra was 62.
“Shocked to hear about the passing away of Ravinder Pal Singh Sir. A 1980 Moscow Olympics hero, he will forever be remembered for his invaluable contribution to hockey as a finest player. May his soul rest in peace,” wrote Pillay — who guided the India team to gold at the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games — on Twitter.
Former India senior men’s and women’s team chief coach Harendra Singh tweeted, “Deeply saddened by the tragic demise of India’s finest centre-half of modern hockey – Pal Bhai was part of India’s gold medal-winning team at 1980 Moscow Olympics. I pay my heartfelt tribute and pray for the eternal peace of the departed soul.”
Harendra added that captain of the 1980 Olympics gold medal-winning team “Vasudevan Baskaran and Ravindra Pal Singh were the core members of the team”.
Hockey India (HI) president Gyanendro Ningombam said, “Hockey India extends its deepest condolences to Ravindra Pal’s family. He made an immense contribution to Indian hockey and his achievements will always be remembered. May his family and friends have the strength to pass through these difficult times.”
Singh, a bachelor who lived with his elder sister in a joint family, had recovered from Covid-19. He had breathing problem, and ‘felt depressed’, and suffered from anxiety. He was shifted to an oxygen bed in a ward after having recovered from Covid, though he continued to have breathing problem. After his condition deteriorated on Friday, he was taken to the Intensive Care Unit and put on a ventilator. He passed away early on Saturday.