Hockey legend S Balasingam dies aged 73

Balasingam featured at 2 Olympic Games. (Facebook pic/Malaysian Hockey Greats)

PETALING JAYA: Former national hockey player S Balasingam, who was part of the legendary Malaysian team that played at the 1975 World Cup, died today aged 73.

Balasingam’s passing was announced by the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC), who referred to him as a legend, on their Twitter account.

The national body, in its condolence message, added: “MHC will forever be grateful to Mr S Balasingam and his family for their services to the nation.”

Born on Nov 15, 1947 in Ipoh, Balasingam made his name as a left half and first played for Malaysia aged 21 at the 1968 International Hockey Tournament in Lahore, Pakistan.

The St John’s Institution old boy is best remembered for being a member of the 16-man national squad that finished fourth at the 1975 World Cup in Kuala Lumpur. It remains Malaysia’s best finish at a World Cup.

He also featured at two Olympic Games – Munich 1972 and Montreal 1976 – as well as the 1973 World Cup in Amsterdam.

Balasingam, together with his 1975 World Cup squad teammates, was inducted into the Olympic Council of Malaysia Hall of Fame in 2004.