Dhyan Chand: Magician of Hockey who had 4 hands and 4 sticks !

Dhyan Chand: Magician of Hockey who had 4 hands and 4 sticks !

He (1905 –1979) is globally accepted as the greatest Field hockey player of all time, very well known for his unique goal-scoring skills.
In India he is referred to as "Magician of the game of Hockey".
He was one of the world's top sportsmen - in league with the great Don Bradman, Jesse Owens and Babe Ruth.
He is also remembered for winning three Olympic Gold Medals in 1928,1932 and 1936 in hockey, during the period when India was reputed to be the most remarkable Hockey team the world over.
He scored over 400 goals in his career, from 1926 to 1948.
It was also rumored that he used to practice the ball control by running along the length of railway tracks while he would balance the ball on the track of the railways.
The word “Chand” literally means the moon in Hindi.
Dhyan Singh ( his original name ) used to practice a lot during the night. No floodlights were available those days.
He would have to wait for the moon to show up so that the visibility in the field He was therefore called "Chand", by other players.
The Government of India honored him by conferring him the Padma Bhuahan India's third highest civilian honor. His birthday, is celebrated as National Sports Day in India.
Astro-turf hockey pitch, at the Indian Gymkhana Club in London has been named after Indian hockey legend Dhyan Chand.
After India played its first match in the 1936 Olympics, his magical stick work drew a good number of people from venues of other games to the hockey field.
A German newspaper came out with a headline: 'The Olympic complex now has a magic show too.' The coming day posters were exhibited all over Berlin: Come and visit the hockey stadium to watch the Indian Hockey magician in action.
It is said that during the course of a match with Germany in the 1936 Olympics, he lost a tooth in a collision with one well-known aggressive German goalkeeper.
When he came back to the field after medical attention, he asked the players to "teach a lesson" to the Germans by not scoring any goal and thus frustrating them.
The Indians would take the ball to the German circle only to come back without scoring.
When he saw him in action Don Bradman said "He scores goals like we score runs in the game of cricket"
The people of Austria and Viennna gave him the honor by setting up a statute of him with four hands and four sticks, depicting his control and mastery over the ball.
A tube station in London was named after him along with 358 other past and present Olympic heroes.
Once in the Netherlands, it is said that the authorities broke his hockey stick to find out if there was any magnet hidden inside it.
The 1936 Berlin Olympics final was attended by a crowd of 40,000 which had dignitaries like top Nazi officials named Hermann Goering, Joseph Goebbels, Joachim Ribbentrop and the Fuehrer, Adolf Hitler.
When the match ended and India won by defeating Germany 8-1, there was absolute silence all over.
Hitler was to have presented the gold medals to the Indian team, but he had already left earlier, frustrated and angry.
The next day, Hitler called Dhyan Chand.
When he came to know this, he became worried.
He was aware of the stories of how Hitler used to get people shot down if they did not listen to him, as he was a merciless dictator.
He neither slept nor ate that night.
Next morning he went to see Hitler. The German dictator welcomed Dhyan Chand warmly in his private box, took him around, and showed him the view of the stadium.
He asked Dhyan Chand what he was doing in India.
When Dhyan Chand said that he was a soldier in the Indian army, Hitler offered him a high post in the German army.
He invited him to come and live in Germany permanently.
It is said that Dhyan Chand politely declined saying that since his family was settled in India, he could not relocate to Germany. It is said that Hitler understood his predicament and quietly ended the meeting.
( Compiled by me from Wikipedia and other material available on him )

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Published in Senior Chatters


  1. lani36

    SIR Don Bradman, the Champion of Australian cricket ever , he was the most successful cricketer this country has ever seen …..living inAdelaide South Australia, .

  2. Abhilaaj Post author

    lani very true . He was one of the greatest batsman the game has seen ever !
    You know, he had an average score of 99.94 in test cricket.
    In his farewell test he was unfortunately out at duck at the second ball he faced. Otherwise his average would have exceeded 100 !

    1. lani36

      Yes truly an amazing sportsman , ABHILAAJ, i brought my son-in-law “Bradmans” life story in abook for Christmas last, he is enjoying it immensely ….

  3. Abhilaaj Post author

    Yes lani ,Sachin Tendulkar, the recipient of the highest civilian award in India, felt very much honored when he and Shane Warne, the renowned Australian leg spinner were invited to meet Sir Bradman at his home.
    You know, when he said that he saw some glimpse of his style of batting in Sachin’s batting ,Sachin was very pleased.
    True genius of cricket Sir Bradman was.
    Thanks lani !