Full name: Dhyan Chand Bais

Nickname(s): Dadda / The Wizard of Hockey

Gender: Male

Born: August 28, 1905 in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India

Died: December 3, 1979 in Delhi, Delhi, India

Affiliations: United Provinces/Army

Country: IND India

Sport: Hockey

Related Olympians: Father of Ashok Kumar I; Brother of Roop Singh; Grandfather of Ashok Kumar II.

Medals: 3 Gold (3 Total)

On 29th August, 1905, Dhyan Chand was born to a Rajput family in Prayag in Uttar Pradesh to father, an army subedar. Soon afterwards as the family moved to Jhansi, so he was. At Jhansi he spent his formative years. At the age of 16, in 1922, after an brief education he joined the Indian Army. He joined as a Sepoy of the 4/1st Punjab Regiment. During his days in the Army, he was noticed by Subedar-Major Bhole Tiwari of Brahmin regiment for his vibrant dribbling skills and knack for scoring goals. There is a confussion with the year but probabaly in a match held in 1927, Chand exhibited his skills against the English hockey team. He was netting 36 of India`s 72 goals in 10 matches, at the London Folkstone Festival.

Dhyan ChandIn the year1928 to represent the Indian hockey team in the 1928 Summer Olympics, Dyan Chand was selected to the team. The 1928 Summer Olympics was held in Amsterdam, Netherlands. By a score of 3-0, Chand helped India to triumph the gold medal after winning the finals against the Netherlands. He scored two of India`s three goals by playing in the centre-forward position. The team under Lal Shah Bukhari, in the 1932 Summer Olympics held at Los Angeles, USA, championed their title after succeeding the gold. The team expelled the United States hockey team by 23-1, which is a world record that be upright until 2003. Eight of those goals are contributed by Dyan Chand. Along with his brother Roop Singh, Dyan Chand shaped an extremely impressive in strength and excellence core of the team. 12 goals was scored by him in India`s two matches in that Olympics. In that year, he had scored 133 goals out of India`s 338 goals.

The Beighton Cup final of 1933, was rated by Dhyan Chand as his most memorable match. Jhansi Heroes and Calcutta Customs were the teams between which the match was played. Dyan Chand surprisingly, did not score in that match. But he provided only the vital pass for the lone goal scored by the Jhansi Heroes. The Jhansi Heroes were jampacked in an unrestrained third class compartment on their return journey. Despite anything to the contrary, at the station, the warm welcome that they received, made it the most memorable match for Dhyan Chand. He scored 201 goals out of the team`s correspond of 584 in 43 matches during a 1935 tour of New Zealand and Australia. In the year 1935, at Adelaide Dhyan Chand once came to meet Don Bradman, the legend of the world of cricket face to face. At that time the Indian hockey team was in Australia. Don Bradman remarked after watching Dhyan Chand in action, "He scores goals like runs in cricket".

At the beginning, to go to participate in the 1936 Summer Olympics held at Berlin, Dhyan Chand`s regiment refused to give him the permission. It was at that time the regiment was contended in a fight with the tribals in Waziristan. After a second request, however, the permission was granted. Under the captaincy of Dhyan Chand, the Indian team participated in 1936 Summer Olympics final. In a friendly match, his team had gone down to the Germans, shortly before the Olympics. India`s forward line was strengthened at that time, by the inclusion of Ali Iqtidar Shah Dara, who grappled to reach Berlin just in time for the final. The Indian team in a patriotic note, raised the Indian tricolour in the dressing room and rather than the British national anthem, which they were obliged to sing sang Vande Mataram an Indian nationalist song.

At the interval of summer olympics, India was leading with 1-0. It has been said that the wet pitch was to damned. To see the condition, Chand removed his shoes playing barefoot. Although his teammates and opposition were wearing spiked shoes. India scored seven goals in the second term. The Germans after trailing 0-6, are reported to have proceed to crude play. Dhyan Chand broke one of his teeth in an accident with the German goalkeeper, but was soon back in action. With Dhyan Chand scoring 6 goals, India won the match 8-1. From a reporters point of view on Dhyan Chand`s performance - "With a flick of the wrist, a quick glance of his eyes, a sharp turn and then another turn, and Dhyan Chand was through." Images of this game can be found in the Leni Riefenstahl film, "Olympia."

Adolf Hitler was very much impressed by his performance. Hitler purportedly offered to make Dhyan Chand a Field Marshal in the German army. But Chand refused to join. In the pre-Olympic matches, Chand scored 59 of India`s 175 goals and 11 of 38 in the Olympics. He continued to play till the age 42, even after World War II. In 22 matches against East Africa, he hit a total of 61 goals. In the year 1948 , Dhyan Chand took retirment from the sport. Dhyan Chand earned a diploma in coaching from the National Institute of Sports in Patiala, in Punjab after the first innings of his life. But person like Dhyan Chand to whom the traits were innate, however he found it difficult to coach those things.

He was honoured by the residents of Vienna, Austria by setting up a statue of him with four hands and four sticks, drawing his control and mastery over the ball. At the National Stadium near India Gate, New Delhi, one of his famous statues was set up while another was erected in 2005 at Medak in Andhra Pradesh. At the age of 51, in the year1956, he retired from the army with the rank of Major. By conferring him the Padma Bhushan, which is the India`s third highest civilian honour, the Government of India honoured him in that year. However, the man of high respect, Chand died impecunious and uncared for in a hospital. He used to receive a meagre pension. Dhyan Chand was very sad to see India at the Montreal Olympics, 1976 as finished seventh. At that olympic, the Indian team included his son, Ashok Kumar. Neha Singh, his grand daughter played for India in the 1998 World Cup.

Dhyan Chand`s son Ashok Kumar, was the only son of Dhyan Chand who brought glory to India. It will be surprising to know that Dhyan Chand never discussed hockey with his sons, nor did he inspire with confidence them to take up the game seriously. At that time playing is not much benefactive role to live a comfortable livelihood. Salaries in those days were very low.

On his deathbed at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, he, according to reports told a doctor that Indian hockey was dying. Then he went into a coma and died in 1979. The Indian Postal Service, a year after his death, came forth a commemorative stamp in his honour. In addition, in New Delhi, Dhyan Chand National Stadium is distinguished in his honor. His birthday, 29 August, is celebrated in India as the National Sports Day. Sport-related awards were given away by the President of India, such as the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Arjuna Award and Dronacharya Award on this day at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The Government of India, to immortalize his memory, has established Dhyan Chand Award which is confronted each year to the sportspersons who not only bestow a quality through their performance but also encourage to the sport after their retirement.

About Dhyan there are many legends which are inconceivable to affirm. Some time after the Partition of India, once Dhyan Chand, on way to Peshawar, was seen at the Lahore railway station, as a part of the Indian team, which was scheduled to take part in Joshan celebrations in Afghanistan. To catch a glimpse of the wizard, thousands of his Pakistani fans rushed to the station. The billowing crowds led to collapse of all arrangements. Krishan Kumar Kakar, one of the members of the Indian team, recounted "Such was the scene on all stations right up to Peshawar where the train reached more than four hours behind the schedule." He on the field was named the "Wizard of Hockey" for he maintained complete control on the ball. While playing, it seemed that the ball used to stick to his hockey stick. The magic of Dhyan Chand was so great that the Tokyo officials broke his hockey stick to search for a magnet inside, and attempted to console themselves saying he had added some sort of glue. A lady from the audience on one occasion, asked Dhyan Chand to play with her walking stick alternatively. She found that he was supposidely so fast that TV expressive style of his gameplay was brought forth too slow.

The Amsterdam Games became the first stage, for the wizardry of Dhyan Chand. The wizardry was not only meant for the spectators, but also for the opponents, for during several moments, the opponents were like spectators, with sticks and jerseys, as they could only watch Dhyan Chand`s magic and could do nothing about it. He was referred as "The Hockey Wizard" after a sensational feat in the final of the Punjab Indian Infantry tournament in the town of Jhelum. Dhyan Chand then scored three goals in the last four minutes for his side to snatch a dramatic victory. Dhyan Chand was the Star attraction during the Amsterdam games. Richard James Allen, the goalkeeper, did not concede a single goal in the 1928 Olympics. Allen, who kept India`s goal in 3 consecutive Olympics (1928, 1932, 1936), conceded a total of only 3 goals in the 3 Olympics.

India`s record in the 1928 Olympics at Amsterdam:

  • Played: 5

  • Won: 5

  • Goals For: 29

  • Goals Against: 0
  • The 1932 Olympics witnessed couple of world records created by Indians that still stand unbroken. The biggest score in an international hockey match is the 24-1 victory of India over the USA, played on August 11, 1932. The record for the most number of goals scored in a single hockey match belongs to Roop Singh, who slammed in ten goals in the 24-1 rout of USA. India scored 24 goals in the 1932 Olympics, of which the brothers popularly known as the "hockey brothers" scored 25 of them. They were, Left- in Roopsingh (10) and Centre Forward Dhyan Chand (14). The hockey brothers went on to represent India in the 1936 Olympics also, winning yet another gold medal for India.

    In the 24-1 victory against the USA, there is a very amusing tale about the solitary goal scored by the Americans; The defenders had decided to let the Americans have a run, but when they looked behind, there was no goalkeeper. The Indian goalkeeper Richard Allen was signing autographs behind the goal post!

    India`s record in the 1932 Olympics at Los Angeles:

  • Played: 2

  • Won: 2

  • Goals For: 35

  • Goals Against: 2

  • The Indians, this time led by the wizard Dhyan Chand himself, did not receive an altogether pleasant welcome in Germany. Just a day after their arrival in Germany, they lost against a German side, 4-1. India beat Hungary 4-0, United States 7-0 and Japan 9-0. Dara joined the team for the 10-0 massacre of France in the semi-finals. Indians had not conceded a single goal in their march to the finals.

    India met Germany in the final on August 15, 1936. A crowd of around 40,000 people, the biggest crowd till then to witness an Olympic hockey match, had gathered. Among the audience was the ruler of Baroda, the princess of Bhopal and other Indians who had travelled from the Continent, and of course Hitler, who left the match midway, disgusted at Germany`s plight.

    India was up by 6 goals in the finals. The Germans decided to play a rough game and went after Dhyan Chand, which resulted in a broken tooth for the Indian captain, due to the German goalkeeper. Coming back after receiving first aid, Dhyan Chand, now playing barefoot instructed his team to go easy on goals. As the stunned crowd watched, the Indians repeatedly took the ball up to the German circle and then back passed to mystify their opponents. India vanquished Germany 8-1 in the finals to win its third successive Olympic gold medal.

    The supreme tribute to Dhyan was by a sports club in Vienna, which built a statue of Dhyan Chand with four hands and four sticks. To the Viennese, no man with two hands and one stick could have played the way Dhyan Chand did.

    India`s record in the 1936 Olympics at Berlin:

  • Played: 5

  • Won: 5

  • Goals For: 38

  • Goals Against: 1

  • ndia got its independence, but suffered a devastating partition, where many Anglo-Indians left the country and a number of Muslims migrated to Pakistan. India lost a rich recruiting ground for hockey talent. A brand new Indian team left for London, without a single player who had played in an earlier Olympics. The captain of the Pakistan hockey team in the 1948 Olympics was A. I. S. Dara who had represented India in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Besides Dara, Paul Peter Fernandes and Bhopal`s Akhtar Hussain and Latif-ur-Rehman, have represented both India and Pakistan in the Olympics.

    India defeated Austria 8-0 in their first match. India followed up this victory by defeating Argentina 9-1, Spain 2-0, and Holland 2-1 to enter the finals. India faced England for the first time in an Olympic hockey match on September 12, 1948, at Wembley grounds, in the Olympic hockey final. India defeated Britain 4-0 to win its fourth consecutive gold medal. This medal is extremely special for India, as it is the first gold medal won by India under the Indian tricolour. Balbir Singh Sr.excelled as a centre-forward and scored 2 goals for India, while Pat Jansen and Trilochan Singh scored the other two.

    India`s in the 1948 Olympics at London :

  • Played: 5

  • Won: 5

  • Goals For: 25

  • Goals Against: 2

  • India defeated Austria 4-0 and Great Britain 3-1 and stormed to the finals. Holland challenged the Olympics champions but lost 1-6 and India won the hockey crown for the 5th time in a row, in 1952 Olympics held at Helsinki, Finland. Balbir Singh Sr. scored 9 goals of the 13 scored by India, including 5 of the 6 goals in the final. Chinnadorai Desamuthu became the youngest gold medallist for India. He was 19 years and 272 days when India won the Olympic title in the Helsinki Games.

    India`s in the 1952 Olympics at Helsinki:

  • Played: 3

  • Won: 3

  • Goals For: 13

  • Goals Against: 2

  • For the first time, India met Pakistan, in the 1956 Olympic final. Midway through the second half, India was awarded a penalty corner. The ball was pushed out by Udham Singh and stopped by Raghbir Singh Bhola. Randhir Singh Gentle took the shot. A Pakistani defender failed to trap it cleanly and allowed the ball to trickle over the goal line. This goal turned out to be another goldwinner, for the sixth time in a row, until then a record for any country in any team sport in the Olympics. Inside-left Udham Singh scored 15 goals for India in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics - the highest tally by an Indian at an Olympics till that date.

    India`s record in the 1956 Olympics at Melbourne:

  • Played: 5

  • Won: 5

  • Goals For: 38

  • Goals Against: 0
  • The Tokyo Olympics were the first Olympics to be held on Asian ground. The team went on a two-and-a-half month tour to New Zealand and Malaysia before heading to Tokyo. In the pool matches, India finished at the top with 12 points. India beat Belgium 2-0, was held to a draw by Germany and Spain, beat Hong Kong 6-0, Malaysia 3-1, Canada 3-0 and Holland 2-1. In the semi-final, India beat Australia 3-1 to set up their third consecutive clash with Pakistan in the Olympic finals. Pakistan had defeated India 1- 0 in the 1960 Rome Olympics, to end India`s Consecutive Olympic victory series.

    The final was played on November 23, 1964, at the Kamazawa Park in Tokyo. The first half was played at a scorching pace but no goal was scored. There was an unruly incident with some of the Pakistanis attacking the Indian players. The match was briefly interrupted for the tempers to cool down. The forward line comprising Harbinder Singh and Joginder Singh was irresistible that day. 5 minutes into the second half, a penalty corner was awarded to India which was taken by India`s `Rock of Gibralter` Prithipal Singh.

    Prithipal had been fantastic in the Tokyo Olympics thus far, and had scored 11 goals. However, this penalty corner was to be his most important. His stinging shot was deflected off the goalkeeper`s pad and stopped by Pakistan`s full back Munir Dar with his foot. Centre-half Mohinder Lal converted the resultant penalty stroke in the 41st minute to give India a 1-0 lead.

    IHF President Ashwini Kumar did the running commentary for Akashvani in the final at Tokyo. Each move forward by India was a potential goal in his eyes. And when Mohinder Lal converted the penalty stroke, a hysterical Ashwini Kumar cried himself hoarse. Pakistan fought back ferociously in the closing stages of the match and gave India many anxious moments. Shankar Lakshman, the Indian goal Keeper, played superbly and magnificently saved two penalty corner hits. India held on to its slender lead to win its seventh gold medal in eight Olympic games. Shankar Lakshman, one of India`s best ever goalkeepers, was declared the Man of the Match.

    European hockey powerhouses Germany, Holland and Great Britain also did not compete in this boycott of the 1980 Olympic Games. India had fared very badly in the Montreal Olympics; they had come down to the 7th position. The Moscow Olympics hockey competition was played on Poligras fields.

    In a greatly weakened field of participants, India thrashed last minute entry Tanzania 18-0 in its first match. India scored 5 goals in 5 minutes. This huge victory over Tanzania was the second biggest score in Olympic hockey, after the 24-1 victory by India over USA in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics.

    India was lucky to get away with a 2-2 draw with Poland in the next game, with Merwyn Fernandes equalizing for India with only 5 seconds to spare. India had another lucky 2-2 draw with Spain, with the equalizer coming in the last 4 minutes. After surviving these hiccups, India beat Cuba 13-0 and hosts USSR 4-2 to come second in the pool (behind Spain) and qualify for the final.

    In the final against Spain, India had a rousing start and established a comfortable three goal lead early in the second half. But Spain gamely bounced back into the game with 2 unanswered goals. With Spain raiding the Indian defence, and with only 6 minutes left, Mohammed Shaheed scored a goal. However, with only 4 minutes remaining, Spain scored yet again with their skipper Juan Amat completing his hattrick. The atmosphere in the last few minutes was electric, and India finally won the thriller 4-3, and thus regained the elusive gold after 16 long years. Spain had to be content with the Fairplay Trophy.

    The 16 goals scored by centre forward Surinder Singh Sodhi in the 1980 Moscow Olympics is the highest tally by an Indian in an Olympic hockey competition. It beat the earlier record of 15 goals set by the great Udham Singh in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.

    India`s performance in the 1980 Olympics at Moscow:

  • Played: 6

  • Won: 4

  • Drawn: 2

  • Goals For: 43

  • Goals Against: 9

  • About 26 years have passed and India has never got any Olympic medal, after its previous wins. Since the 1970`s Australia, The Netherlands, and Germany have dominated the sport at the Olympics.