Dhyan Chand’s Birth Anniversary on 29th August every year is celebrated as “National Sports Day”. Born in the year 1905, in Prayagraj, India, he was known for his extraordinary hockey skills.
People called him ‘The Wizard’ for qualities he possessed as a hockey player. He bagged three Olympic gold medals for India in 1928, 1932 and 1936 scoring 400 goals.
His birthday is celebrated as National Sports Day. On this Day, President of India honours prominent sports personalities of India with awards like Khel Ratna, Arjuna Awards, Dronacharya Awards and Dhyan Chand Award. The President honours the sportsmen who have made India Proud.
TSA has brought you some facts about Dhyan Chan on his 115th birthday as we remember such a legend.
- Dhyan Chand was enrolled in the Indian Army as a sepoy at the age of 16. He kept his practice going along with his job.
- He was called ‘Chand’ by his friends because he played under the moonlight prior to dusk.
- Dhyan Chand was a very skilled player and he played a few tournaments and regimental matches between 1922 and 1926. For his immensely impressive hockey skills, he was included in Indian Army Team for New Zealand tour. On his return, he was promoted to the post of Lance Naik.
- An Award is named after Dhyan Chand which is “Major Dhyan Chand Award”. This award is basically the highest award for Lifetime Achievement in Indian Sports. Every year on the National Sports Day, this award is given to Indian sports personality by the President of India.
- In 1948 Chand decided to take retirement. He played his last match against Bengal and he stepped away from serious Hockey. In 1956, at the age of 51, he took retirement from the India Army with the rank of a Major.
- In 1952 his autobiography ‘ Goal’ was released and the very same year he received Padma Bhushan which is India’s third-highest civilian honour.
- After retirement, he served as Chief Hockey Coach at National Institute of Sports in Patiala. He spent his final years in his hometown Jhansi.
- After retirement, he went through a shortage of money. He was ignored by many he had hoped with. At one point of time, it seemed as if none knew him.
- Dhyan Chand was diagnosed with liver cancer and was admitted for treatment in AIIMS. On 3 December 1979, he left the world. He is cremated in Jhansi Heroes ground. He was honoured by Punjab Regiment with military honours.
- Stamps in the name of Dhyan Chand were issued in post office after his death in 1979. Moreover, the National Stadium of Delhi was renamed to Major Dhyan Chand in his honour.
To this date, India has given immensely talented sportspersons to the world. National Sports Day is celebrated to remind the importance of health and Sports to people of India. Dhyan Chand is still a motivation for young sportspeople. The legacy he left behind is still alive. He is a true legend and what he gave to India as a sportsperson is beyond excellence.