Singh Kular was good enough to play inside right for India in
an attacking trio which featured the legendary Dhyan Chand at
centre forward and his younger brother Roop Singh at inside
Gurmit, whose skills flourished during the golden age of Indian
hockey, played in only one Olympiad when his country successfully
defended its title in Los Angeles four years after taking the
hockey world by storm in Amsterdam in 1928. But his contribution
in Los Angeles was by no means inconsiderable.
scored three, with Roop Singh getting the same number and Dhyan
Chand netting four times in India's 11 - 1 victory over Japan
in their opening match in Los Angeles.
followed up by scoring five in India's 24 - 1 drubbing of the
USA, with Roop Singh leading the way with ten and Dhyan Chand
collecting eight. Eric Penninger, the joint captain of the 1928
team, rounded off the scoring with his only goal.
who passed away in the Punjab on February 4, (1992) aged 84,
will long be remembered in his native country. He was the only
Sikh in that 1932 team and the first player from Sansarpur,
the tiny village on the outskirts of Jalandhar, which later
became a nursery for stars, to don the Indian colours.
played for Punjab University, Lahore, from 1927 until 1932 and
made his debut in the Inter-Provincial Tournament for Punjab
in 1932. He also played for the Indian Army from 1934 - 6 and
again in 1940.
was studying in his final year at agricultural college at Lyallpur,
now remamed Faisalabad, when selected for the Los Angeles team
after a dazzling display for Punjab in the Inter-Provincial
Tournament in Calcutta -- an event treated as the final trial
for the Olympics.
selected squad of 16 players did not, of course, merely go to
the Olympics. They embarked on a stamina-sapping seven month
tour, playing matches at every port of call and doing a remarkable
job of publicising the game of hockey.
their triumphant return from Los Angeles the Olympic Champions
returned home for yet another marathon tour around their own
country, playing 37 matches. This astonishing team scored 338
goals and conceded a mere 34.
lived up to his growing reputation by scoring 55 goals, finishing
behind only Roop Singh and Dhyan Chand -- the latter's brilliance,
still remembered by everyone who ever saw him play, earning
him no fewer than 133 mentions on the scoresheet.
in his eighties, Gurmit's enthusiasm for the game he had graced
with such distinction had not waned and he still enjoyed visits
to his native village to pass on the finer points to young boys
just taking up hockey.
of the last public appearances of the star of yesteryear was,
fittingly enough, at the wedding of Pargat Singh, the present
has not produced too many true stars, Gurmit Singh Kular was
certainly one of those who will never be forgotten.
an article by Sandeep Singh of India, titled Echoes From The
Golden Age Of Indian Hockey, published in World Hockey, April