SEREMBAN: Former hockey international Balbir Singh (pic) passed away suddenly yesterday.
He was 51-years-old and leaves behind his wife and three sons.
Balbir, who represented Malaysia, Royal Malaysian Regiment, Yayasan Negeri Sembilan in 1980-90s, suffered a heart attack while representing Malacca Sikhs in a tournament in Singapore yesterday afternoon.
He was walking towards the centre of the pitch when he collapsed.
One of the first to rush to Balbir was his long-time friend and teammate, Gurmit Singh.
“He just collapsed and we tried to revive him. There was a faint pulse and he was rushed to the hospital but pronounced dead there,” said Gurmit, when contacted in Singapore.
“It was sudden. One minute we were joking and now he is gone. I just cannot believe it.”
Balbir was a member of the YNS team in 1995 that won the Overall Championships in the MHL.
Prior to that Balbir played for RMR and served the Armed Forces for 18 years. His last rank was Sergeant-Major.
Balbir represented Negri Sembilan at the National Veterans Tournament in Kedah last December and was instrumental in helping the team emerge champions.
Balbir, who hailed from Malacca, was a member of the three-man RMR strikeforce which opponents feared, the other two being Mohd Nor Hussain and Yusof Sameon.