On 15th March 1975, exactly 40 years ago, the India’s Men Hockey team had won World Cup by defeating Pakistan 2-1 in the historic Finals of the 1975 Hockey World Cup. It was a moment of pride that day and it is a moment of pride for every Indian today, but India has failed to repeat the same feat again in these 40 years.
After 3 medals in first editions, Bronze, Silver and Gold in 1971, 1973 and 1975 respectively, India has failed to make it to top four in next 10 editions till 2014. India will host the 14th edition of prestigious hockey event in 2018, we wish good luck to Indian Hockey team for the event and expect them to better their performance, when hosts best of the best hockey teams at Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar.
On the occasion of 40th year, the captain of world cup winning team, Ajit Pal Singh hosted a get-together to celebrate the win. The get-together was attended by his team-mates, former hockey players, current Indian team-member (Sardar Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh), Director High Performance Roelant Oltmans, etc. Remembering the occasion and the achievement, we, The Fans of Hockey, along with Hockey India and all the Indian hockey lovers congratulate the team who made this possible and made India proud.
Led by Captain Ajit Pal Singh the team left no stone unturned to ensure that they got the Cup home. The team was placed in Group B of the tournament where they played against West Germany, Australia, England, Argentina and Ghana. Winning 3 matches, losing 1 and drawing 1 in the pool phase, India advanced to the semi-finals to play against Malaysia wherein they beat them 3-2. They had a close contest against Pakistan in the Finals and it was Ashok Kumar the all important winning goal helping India win the title that year.
Ajit Pal Singh captained and led the team to victory during the 1975 World Cup. He even has to his credit of representing the prestigious tournament on three occasions where he represented the team for 1971 World Cup, Barcelona wherein the team bagged the Bronze and in 1973 World Cup, Amsterdam where they bought back the Silver. He even was part of two Olympics Games in Mexico 1968 (Bronze) and 1972 (Bronze). He won the Arjuna Award in 1970 and Padamshree in 1992 for his contribution to the sport from the Government of India.
Ashok Kumar, son of legendary Late Major Dhyan Chand is the first of two Indians who represented India for 4 World Cup tournaments which included Barcelona 1971 (Bronze), 1973 Amsterdam (Silver), Kuala Lumpur 1975 (Gold) and Buenos Aires 1978. He was also instrumental in scoring the winning goal for India against Pakistan in the finale of the 1975 World Cup. Mr. Ashok Kumar also participated in the two Olympic Games in Munich 1972 (Bronze) and Montreal 1976
Mohd. Aslam Sher Khan, defender and his contribution during the 1975 World Cup cannot be forgotten. He even represented India during the Olympic Games in Munich 1972 (Bronze), Brig.
Harcharan Singh VSM also represented India at three World Cups in Barcelona 1971 (Bronze), Amsterdam 1973 (Silver) and Kuala Lumpur 1975 (Gold) alongwith one Olympic bronze medal in Munich 1972.
Leslie Fernandez whose goalkeeping is still talked about after so many years was also part of the World Cup winning squad.
Dhyan Chand Life Time Achievement Awardee Varinder Singh was also part of the Indian Team that won Silver Medal at the World Cup in Amsterdam 1973 and represented India at two Olympic Teams in 1972 (Bronze) and 1976.
Ashok Diwan a Dhyan Chand Life Time Achievement Awardee in 2002.
Michael Kindo who played at the full back position and was honored with the Arjuna Award for his achievements. He represented India at 3 World Cups which also included Barcelona 1971 (Bronze) and Amsterdam 1973 (Silver) alongwith one Olympic Games in Munich 1972 (Bronze).
B.P. Govinda, current Chairman of the Selection Committee of Hockey India apart from being a part of the winning team in 1975 was also in the team of World Cup in Amsterdam 1973 (Silver) alogwith two Olympic Games in Munich 1972 (Bronze) and Montreal 1976, Brig.
HJS Chimni who played at the centre forward position during the World Cup and whose contribution was vital for the win.
V J Phillips who captained India at the Buenos Aires World Cup in 1978 was crucial member of 1975 World Cup winning team and also represented India at the two Olympic Games in Munich 1972 (Bronze) and Montreal 1978.
Onkar Singh, youngest member of the World Cup 1975 winning team, later participated in the 1981 World Cup held at Mumbai.
Kaliah P.E. the talented inside forward was also a part of the winning squad.
Late Shri. Surjit Singh who played three World Cups in Amsterdam 1973 (Silver), Kuala- Lumpur 1975 and Mumbai 1982 finally has to his credit of ensuring that the team won the tournament in 1975. He also played two Olympic Games in Munich 1972 (Bronze) and Montreal 1976, he was one of those players who scored 4 Olympic goals and which a player will be proud of on any given day. He even was part of the 1978 Asian Games and where the team bagged the Silver medal.
Late Shri. Shivaji Pawar the great center forward was also instrumental in the win of the 1975 World Cup. Late Shri. Mohinder Singh was also one of the key player of the 1975 winning squad.
Speaking on the proud occasion Dr. Narinder Batra, President, Hockey India said “After 40 years I still feel proud of the moment when we earned the title of Champions. I would like to congratulate each member of the winning squad and would like thank them that they made this day possible for every Indian. It is this feat 40 years back, which gives us the motivation that we can repeat history and win the title again.”