His life is a story of immense determination, overcoming struggles, success, willpower, and unparalleled passion. A story of self-discovery and tremendous relentlessness, that is sure to inspire millions. One of the best hockey players in India and all over the world, we are talking about none other than, Sandeep Singh.
You may have discovered some facets of his life through the movie Soorma or you have been bowled over by his on-field tactics. Right from the transition of a lazy kid to a hockey star, that one accident that changed his life forever, to his stunning comeback. Let’s explore the interesting facts about the hockey champion Sandeep Singh.
Also Read: The Greatest Moments in Indian Hockey
Sandeep Singh Biography
Date of Birth
27 February 1986
Gulcharan Singh Saini and Daljeet Saini
— Sandeep Singh (@flickersingh) January 30, 2019
As a kid, Sandeep was a little lazy and preferred to just eat and sleep. He or his family members never thought he would pursue sports. His elder brother, Bikramjeet, started playing hockey. Looking at his brother winning laurels, Sandeep was tremendously inspired. Something within him just changed and he started playing hockey.
Bikramjeet coached Sandeep for most of his initial years and played a huge part in shaping his career. Both brothers started training hard at the academy. Not surprisingly, Sandeep soon became a part of the Indian National Hockey Team.
In 2004, he became the youngest player to represent India at the Athens Olympics. He achieved the feat of becoming the leading goal scorer at the Junior Hockey World Cup in 2005.
Accident: When Sandeep Singh got paralyzed
Sandeep’s hockey journey had begun on the right note. He was all set for a shining career when life took a twisted turn. In August 2006, Sandeep was accidentally shot by Assistant Sub-Inspector, Mohar Singh, while travelling by the Kalka New Delhi Shatabdi Express. The bullet hit his right hip and left him paralysed waist down.
Doctors were not sure if he could even stand up again, so playing was out of the question. He took initial treatment at PGIMER Chandigarh and later went abroad to a rehab. Hockey India Federation took care of his treatment. Singh has always been thankful to the federation and Haryana government for taking care of all his expenses.
The Comeback as Captain Sandeep Singh
“I had asked my brother to get me a hockey stick and I would use it instead of a walking stick or a cane to try and get back on my feet. I never gave up despite falling several times,” he told Zoomtv.com.
When I came home after played my first tournament 2008 (after gun shoot injury ) with top goal scorer trophy and only my neighbours welcomed me @diljitdosanjh @Imangadbedi @IChitrangda @taapsee @SnehaRajani @TheHockeyIndia @bikramjeet007 @sonypicsprodns pic.twitter.com/SeCFz5BX34
— Sandeep Singh (@flickersingh) August 11, 2018
Sandeep made a sensational comeback at the 2008 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup by scoring 8 goals. He went on to take the captainship of the Indian National Team in 2009. The most notable victory for the team under his captaincy was definitely the 2009 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. India won the cup after 13 years!
— Sandeep Singh (@flickersingh) July 13, 2018
He also won the silver medal in the team event at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India. Sandeep was also a part of the 2012 London Olympics qualifying team. The Indian hockey team had qualified after eight years. Even though the team couldn’t get a podium finish, Sandeep impressed everyone with his stunning performance. His 16-goal haul broke all records.
One of the fastest drag flickers in the world, Singh has a flicking speed of around 145 kmph. No wonder he is called Flicker Singh!
Sandeep Singh Family
Sandeep’s wife, Harlinder, is also an international hockey player. She supported him and his career by sacrificing her own. During his recovery and rehabilitation, she was a pillar of strength for Sandeep. The couple got married in 2008 and is blessed with a son. Sandeep loves to take his wife on long rides to Ambala when he is home.
Sandeep Singh made his Hockey India League debut with Mumbai franchise, Mumbai Magicians. He was bought for US$64,400 and his performance was well worth the money. In 2014, he played for the Punjab Warriors. Singh was later signed by the Ranchi Rays for 55 lakh rupees in 2016.
Singh’s car collection includes four cars- Nissan, Fortuner, Mahindra Tha, and Lexus. He also loves to collect bikes. He has a Harley Davidson and Royal Enfield each. Singh owns a petrol pump on the Delhi-Chandigarh highway.
Unknown Facts about Sandeep Singh
- Sandeep Singh’s as a penalty corner specialist earned him the title of Flicker Singh.
- Singh is employed with the Haryana Police as a DSP.
- He has played for international clubs like St George Randwick Hockey Club in Australia and Harvard Hockey Club in England.
- Sandeep has always focused on his health and fitness. He does not smoke.
- Singh’s favourite actor is Shah Rukh Khan.
- Dhanraj Pillai has always been Singh’s sporting idol and motivation.
- Singh’s passion for the game has no limits. He has tattooed the Olympic rings on his right hand.
- He loves to relax by watching movies and listening to music.
- Singh loves pasta and salads.
- Singh was recently signed as the brand ambassador of Fast&Up.
Also Read: Sports Biopics to Watch Out For
Life on Celluloid – Sandeep Singh as Soorma
Sandeep Singh’s inspiring life story reached masses with the 2018 Bollywood movie Soorma. Portrayed by Diljeet Singh and directed by Shaad Ali, the movie beautifully depicted the struggles and victories of our hockey star. It was an overwhelming moment for Singh.
“I am humbled and am eagerly waiting – like all of you – to see the movie in theatres. It is my story, they spoke to me so what could go wrong? Without trust, you cannot do anything. If you are driving with someone, you have to trust that he will drive well. If not, and if you could drive yourself, the situation would not arise. So if someone is driving, you have to trust him. You won’t find any difference in the film than our real life,” Singh told The National.
#soorma releases today. It’s yours to watch.. to love and support. Go and see the rebirth of @flickersingh Sandeep Singh.. and an honest and endearing portrayal of my Dosanjhwala who I love..my soul brother.@diljitdosanjh waheguruji ka khalsa pic.twitter.com/14RNbYrK2S
— ANGAD BEDI! (@Imangadbedi) July 13, 2018
Teams Sandeep Singh Played For
- Mumbai Magicians (2013)
- Punjab Warriors (2014-2015)
- Ranchi Rays (2016 – present)
- Havant Hockey Club (United Kingdom)
- Arjuna Award, 2010
- Player of the Tournament, Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, 2009
Sandeep Singh Records
- Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, 2009 (most goals)
- London Olympics, 2012 (most goals)
Sultan Azian Shah Cup
The best drag flicker in India wants to train future drag-flickers now. In this new phase of his career, Sandeep is concentrating on mentoring youngsters with potential. He is working for ‘Collectives for Integrated Livelihoods’ as a consultant and technical adviser. The Tata Trust organization is helping 6000 players chase their dreams. Singh is working on the development of the game at the basic level.
Singh is also working on improving infrastructure for hockey and trying to rope in government support for the same. He was fortunate enough to receive medical and financial aid during his time of distress. However, he is aware that numerous youngsters are missing out on such opportunities. Sandeep wants to help them out and give back to society.
Always an optimist, he believes that just the way every sunrise is followed by a sunset, a sportsperson has to retire one day. We are sure that Singh will not only pass on his hockey skills but will also spread his fighting spirit!
A real hero isn’t measured by size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart
Roadies realheroes cooming soon only on @MTVIndia @MTVRoadies #bohtajyaadapositive #flickerbrothers pic.twitter.com/a7pAHM2b6G
— Sandeep Singh (@flickersingh) February 2, 2019
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