Harbinder Singh is an Indian former field hockey player. He was a part of the Indian Hockey team that won gold at the Tokyo 1964 Summer Olympics. In January 2024, he was honoured with the Padma Shri Award for his contributions to Indian hockey.
Harbinder Singh (also known as Harbinder Singh Chimni) was born on Thursday, 8 July 1943 (age 80 years; as of 2023) in Quetta, Pakistan. After the partition of India in 1947, he moved to India with his parents. His zodiac sign is Cancer.
He attended Khalsa College in Amritsar, Punjab. He has served in the Northern Railways.
Height (approx.): 5′ 9″
Hair Colour: Grey
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
There is not much information about his parents. His brother, Harjinder Singh Chimni, is also a former Kabaddi player.
Wife & Children
There is not much information about his marital status.
In 1961, he represented the Punjab state at the Inter-University Hockey Tournament. In the same year, he participated in the National Hockey Championship in Hyderabad. He also took part in the National Hockey Championship in 1962 in Bhopal.
In a career span of 12 years, he represented the Indian Hockey team three times at the Olympics. He was a part of the Indian Hockey team in the 1964 Summer Olympics, held in Tokyo. He scored the highest number of field goals, with 5 out of 9 and helped his team win the gold medal by defeating Pakistan in the finals.
In Mexico 1968, he won a bronze medal by scoring 6 out of 11 goals, including a hat-trick against Mexico. He was also selected as a centre forward in the “World XI” after his exceptional performance in the Olympics. He again helped the Indian Hockey team to win a bronze medal in the 1972 Summer Olympics, held in Munich, West Germany.
Harbinder Singh represented the Indian Hockey team at the Asian Games twice as a player, in 1966 and 1970, and once as the chief coach in 1986. In 1966, he helped the Indian Hockey team win a gold medal at the Asian Games in Bangkok. He captained the Indian Hockey team at the 1970 Asian Games in Bangkok and won a silver medal. In Seoul 1986, he served as the chief coach of the Indian Women’s hockey team at the 10th Asian Games, where the team earned a bronze medal.
International & National Hockey Championships
Singh led the Indian Hockey team to secure a gold medal at an International Hockey tournament in 1963 in Lyons, France. In 1966, he represented India at an International Hockey tournament, held in Hamburg, Germany. In the tournament, he scored 4 goals out of 8 field goals and earned a gold medal for the team. The following year, he earned a bronze medal in the Pre-Olympic Hockey Tournament, held in London. He participated in several National Hockey Championships from 1961 to 1972, where he played for the teams of Punjab State and Indian Railways and scored 8 Gold and 2 Silver Medals. He also served as a coach of the Indian Railways Hockey Team from 1975 to 1993 and helped the team win 8 Gold and 4 Silver Medals in various championships during the tenure.
Apart from Hockey, he has also participated in a few athletic championships. Harbinder Singh, played for the team of Panjab University in 1959 in the Inter-University Athletics Meet, held in Kanpur. In the same year, he represented the Punjab state in the National Athletic Championship at Trivandrum. In the championship, he won gold in the 4x100M Relay Race in the category of juniors. In 1967, he represented the team of Indian Railways in the All India Open Athletic Championship in Sangrur, where he won the gold medal in the 4x100M Relay Race.
- Railway Minister Award in 1966
- Best Sportsman of the Railways Award in 1972
- Major Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award 2019 and a cash prize of Rs 30 lakh with a trophy
- Padma Shri Award in January 2024
- Gold Medal in the 1964 Summer Olympics, held in Tokyo
- Bronze Medal in the 1968 Summer Olympics, held in Mexico
- Bronze Medal in the 1972 Summer Olympics, held in Munich, Germany
- Gold Medal in the Asian Games at Bangkok 1966
- Silver Medal in the Asian Games at Bangkok 1970
- Bronze Medal in the Asian Games at Seoul 1986
Note: During his career span, he won 36 Gold, 8 Silver, and 4 Bronze Medals in various National and International Competitions.
- He had a deep passion for sports since he was a child. He has participated in several hockey and athletics championships during his school and college days. He has represented Cantonment Board High School, Jalandhar district, in a football tournament.
- Harbinder Singh began playing for the Indian Hockey team internationally in 1961 when he was just 18 years old. During that time, he toured New Zealand and Australia as part of the team.
- He served as a member of the Selection Committee of the Indian Hockey Federation for juniors for eight years (1980 to 1984 and 1994 to 1998). He was also part of the Selection Committee for both junior and senior players in the Women’s Hockey Federation from 2004 to 2009.
- He has been a member of several other committees such as Hockey India High Performance & Development Committee, Hockey India Disciplinary Committee, and Hockey India Ethics Committee.
- He has also been a chairman of the Hockey India Masters Committee.
- After being honoured with the Padma Shri Award in January 2024, he received congratulations from Hockey India. In an interview, while expressing gratitude, the Secretary General of Hockey India Bhola Nath Singh said,
On behalf of Hockey India, I congratulate Harbinder Singh. He will forever be known as one of India’s finest centre forwards who scored at will and won many accolades for the country. He continues to serve the sport even to this day, always willing to be involved in whatever capacity it may be and that is very inspiring.”