Dhyan Chand : Born, Died, Family, Education, Achievements

Dhyan Chand
Written by Jon Snow



Full Name Dhyan Chand
Nickname (s) The wizard, The Magician
Profession (s) Hockey Player

Physical Stats and More

Height (approx.) In feet: 5 ft. 57 in.
In cm: 170 cm
In m: 1.7 m
Weight (approx.) In kg: 70 kg
In pound: 154 lb
Eye color Dark Brown
Hair color Black

Personal Information

Date of Birth August 29th, 1905
Date of Death December 3rd, 1979 (aged 74)
Zodiac Sign Virgo
Place of Birth Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, India.
Place of Death  All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, Delhi
Nationality Indian
Education  Maharani Laxmi Bai Govt. College of Excellence
Military service Major (British Indian Army, Indian army) (1922- 1956)

Family Information

Father Subedar Sameshwar Dutt Singh
Mother Sharadha Singh
Brother Mool Singh, Roop Singh
Sisters None
Wives Janaki Devi
Sons Brij Mohan, Sohan Singh, Raj Kumar, Ashok Kumar, Umesh Kumar, Devinder Singh, Virender Singh


Awards and Honors 1928 – Gold Medal in Olympics – Amsterdam

1932 – Gold Medal in Olympics – Los Angeles

1936 – Gold Medal in Olympics – Berlin

1955 – Padma Bhushan

  • Scored 1000 goals in his entire career and among them, 400 were scored in International tournaments and matches.
  • Won 3 Olympic gold medals consecutively in Olympic games.
  • He was the leading goal scorer in 1928 and 1936 Olympic games.
  • He made a world record of scoring 201 goals in 43 matches in 1935 tour of New Zealand and Australia.
International debut New Zealand Tour (April 1926)
Final International match 1948

Lesser known facts about Dhyan Chand

Personal life

  • Dhyan Chand was born on 29th of August,1905, in Allahabad, UP, India to Sameshwar Dutt Singh, who worked on British Indian Army. He had two brothers.
  • Dhyan Chand’s actual name is Dhyan Singh.
  • Because of his father’s transferable natured job, Dhyan Chand could get only six years of schooling, as they moved from one city to other periodically.
  • In 1936 he was married to Janaki Devi and had seven sons with her.
  • The last few years of his life were unfortunate and were spent in misery. With the short of money, he became very disillusioned with life and suffered from liver cancer.
  • At the age of 74, in 1979 this sporting legend passed away.


  • Dhyan Chand was known as “Chand” as he often practiced his game under the moonlight and his friends referred him as “Chand” moon in Hindi.
  • Dhyan Chand had an immense interest in wrestling while growing up and was dabbed in hockey when he started playing it with his friends in Jhansi.
  • He joined Army at 16 years and participated in the army’s hockey tournaments during 1922-1926, and this the period when he realized his passion for hockey.
  • Dhyan Chand participated in many tournaments and was involved in many matches that worth memorable. But he considers one of his matches to be the best in his career. When asked about the same, he said: “If anybody asked me which was the best match that I played in, I will unhesitatingly say that it was the 1933 Beighton Cup final between Calcutta Customs and Jhansi Heroes.”
  • Dhyan Chand played his first national match in 1925 and with his splendid performance, he got selected for the Indian National team.
  • Dhyan Chand was appointed as the captain for the Indian Hockey team in 1934.
  • In 1926, he made his first International debut in the New Zealand tour and scored a hattrick.
  • During the Amsterdam Summer Olympics, he was the highest goal scorer in the tournament with 14 goals in 5 matches. It was then, he was called “The Wizard”.
  • He was considered as the most prolific scorer for India and played as captain of the Indian team in his third Olympics, 1936 Berlin Olympics.
  • It is said that Dhyan Chand refused the offer German citizenship and a high post in his army offered by Hitler after India beat Germany in 1936 Olympics where Dhyan Chand scored 3 of the goals.
  • During the 1936 Olympics, the outfield was wet and to move faster and get a better grip over the ground, Dhyan Chand removed his shoes and played.
  • Dhyan Chand had an amazing career spanning for 22 years with the score of 400 goals and his record of scoring 101 goals in Olympics is still unbeaten.
  • As a part of London Olympics, the organizers created an Olympics legend Map that renamed 358 stations in order to honor the current and previous champions that had only 6 hockey players and among them were three Indians, namely Dhyan Chand, Roop Singh (his brother) and Leslie Claudius.

Dhyan Chand

  • During the 1936 Olympics, Dhyan Chand lost his tooth after colliding with the German goalkeeper, Tito Warnholtz. But he resumed the game after getting medical treatment. With the rage to teach the Germans, a lesson during the match, he guided his team with a master plan and succeeded in it.
  • The Indian team has played around 37 matches in a world tour among which the team won 34 matches, two of them being a draw and one being canceled. Out of India’s 338 goals, Dhyan Chand alone scored 133 goals.
  • Dhyan Chand has an Astro-turf hockey pitch at Indian Gymkhana in London named after him.
  • After retiring from his hockey career, Dhyan Chand invested his time in billiards.
  • When Dhyan Chand was not able to score a goal in one of his matches, he argued with the referee regarding the measurement of the goal post and his claim turned out to be true that the measurement did not comply the rules. Such a legend he was in his game.
  • In 1935, Don Bradman, a cricketing legend observed his game and complimented him saying “You score goals like runs in cricket”.
  • Dhyan Chand has his autobiography “Goal” published by Sport & Pastime, Chennai,1952. The crude version of this can be found online.
  • In his honor, a commemorative postage stamp was also issued.
  • 29th August, Dhyan Chand’s birthday is celebrated as National Sports Day and all the deserving sportsperson are awarded with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Arjuna, and Dronacharya award on this day.
  • There is a stadium named Dhyan Chand in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh which is used for Hockey purpose mostly.
  • Dhyan Chand retired as a Major in 1951 and was awarded the Padma Bhushan by Government of the year in the same year.
  • Major Dhyan Chand Hockey stadium in Lucknow serves as the home ground of the Uttar Pradesh Wizards hockey team.
  • A National stadium in Delhi for hockey is named after him as Major Dhyan Chand National stadium and this stadium served as the venue for first Asian Games in 1951.
  • The Dhyan Chand’s statues adorn in the National Sports Stadium in Delhi and in Jhansi on Sipri hills.
  • The Dhyan Chand Award is a lifetime award which is honored annually to the magnificent people for their sporting performance and also for the contribution to sports after their retirement since 2002.
  • In Vienna, a statue of this hockey wizard with four hands and four sticks is erected, which depicts his master control over the ball.

Dhyan Chand’s Sporting Family

  • The sporting legend Dhyan Chand has his spirit of game and passion running in his blood, and this passion seemed hierarchical.
  • The Dhyan Chand’s family, on the whole, has bagged 5 Olympic gold medals, 1 World cup gold, 1 world cup silver, 1 Olympic bronze and 1 World cup bronze medal.
  • Dhyan Chand’s father had a hockey history as well, he played hockey while serving as a Subedar in the British India Army.
  • Among the five Olympic gold medals in their family tree, Dhyan Chand himself bagged three medals in the consecutive Olympic games held in the years 1928, 1932, and 1936. The rest were obtained by Roop Singh.
  • Dhyan Chand’s younger brother Roop Singh also a hockey player won the gold medal in 1932 and 1936 Olympic games. Roop Singh also proved to be very much passionate about hockey. Roop Singh and his family were Gwalior based, his son Chandrashekhar was also a hockey player in the Indian team.
  • Dhyan Chand’s eldest son, a hockey player represented his state in nationals.
  • Sohan Singh, the second son of Dhyan Chand and Janaki Devi became a coach.
  • The third son, Raj Kumar was an athlete as well.
  • Dhyan Chand’s fourth son, Ashok Kumar earned the fame as a hockey player after scoring a goal that won India 1975 World cup. It’s India’s only World cup title. Later, in 1972 Munich Olympics, Ashok Kumar won the Bronze medal and also won the bronze in 1971 and silver medal in 1973 World cup tournaments.
  • Umesh Kumar, the fifth son of Dhyan Chand and Janaki Devi, played for Indian Airlines and toured Argentina.
  • Devinder Singh, sixth son of Dhyan Chand played for Indian Airlines and for Bengal as well.


About the author

Jon Snow

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