K.D Singh (Kunwar Digvijay Singh): Born, Education, Family, Died

Kunwar Digvijay Singh
Written by Jon Snow


Full Name Kunwar Digvijay Singh
Nickname (s) Babu
Gender Male
Profession (s) Field hockey player

Physical stats and more

Height (approximately) Not known
Weight (approximately) Not known
Eye color Not known
Body type Not known

Personal Information

Date of birth February 2nd, 1922
Day of birth Thursday
Zodiac sign Aquarius
Place of birth Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh, India
Nationality Indian
Ethnicity Not known
Complexion Not known
Mother tongue Not known
Sexual orientation Not known
Date of death March 27th, 1978
Day of death Monday
Place of death Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
Age at death 56

Family Information

Father Raj Bahadur Raghunath Singh
Mother Not known
Siblings Not known
Civil status Not known
Son Kunwar Direndhra Singh

Educational Qualifications

High school Government Inter College Barabanki

Kanyakubj Inter College Lucknow

University Not attended


First game 1946/47 (As a part of All India Hockey Team’s Afghanistan Tour)
Playing position Inside right
National Team India
Medal records • Olympic Games – Gold medal in Men’s field hockey (1948 London)

• Olympic Games – Gold medal in Men’s field hockey (1952 Helsinki)

Awards and Honors • Best hockey player in the world (Helms Trophy in 1953)

• Padmashri award in 1958 (Government of India)

Lesser known facts about Kunwar Digvijay Singh

  • Kunwar Digvijay Singh was commonly called as Babu. So, everyone who is closer to him will address by using this name.
  • He is regarded as one of the best hockey players in the history of sports. His techniques, skills, and focus in hockey have made him one among the best.
  • He was born in Barabanki, India, to the famous lawyer, social activist and tennis player, Rai Bahadur Raghunath Singh. So, it is evident how he carries so much talent in games.
  • He first schooled at the Government Inter-College Barabanki and later moved to the Kanyakubj Inter-College in Lucknow. These colleges have made his educational life successful.
  • K.D.Singh was a talented student as well as a skilled sportsman during his school days. So, he is not only a good player but also a great leaner.
  • During his childhood, he played hockey, tennis, badminton, cricket, and golf. Overall, his sportsmanship has been fueled since his childhood.
  • He won many prizes for tennis and badminton. His skills in sports have always supported him.
  • Once, he scored a double century at the Sheesh Mahal Cricket Tournament in Lucknow. This is appreciable because not everyone can score double centuries that easily.
  • Apart from these sports, K.D.Singh was a good aimer, angler, and hunter as well. His biography is full of interesting facts about sports and games, but this is a rare fact.
  • •K.D.Singh was considered an all-rounder in his early days. It was apparent because of his talents and skills in games and sports.
  • But, out of all these sports, he was extraordinarily skilled in field hockey. This is why he became famous for what he is good at! He is known for his hockey talents.
  • K.D.Singh first played hockey for a tournament at Dewa Mela in his hometown Barabanki.
  • In the year 1937, he represented his college hockey team in a few inter-college tournaments. This is one of the ways he put forward his talent.
  • At a young age of 15, K.D.Singh played for the Lucknow Youngsters Athletic Club (LYA) at the Traders Cup in Delhi. Not everyone is motivated as K.D. Singh when they are a teen.
  • At the Traders Cup, K.D.Singh’s team met with a reputed Delhi team, in which the famous hockey Olympian Mohammed Hussain played.
  • K.D.Singh was not informed that the Olympian Mohammed Hussain was playing against him. This might have been a surprise.

Kunwar Digvijay Singh

  • This young boy played so well that even the famous Olympian was surprised. Talents in a young boy will be hidden unless parents and family push him forward.
  • Once the match was over, Mohammed Hussain said that this young boy would become a great hockey player one day. And it happened, which is why we are discussing him, today!
  • K.D.Singh was a hot topic in all newspapers of India. The publishers wrote about his sports skills and talents. They could not resist writing because he was extremely good at what he did!
  • From 1939 to 1959, he played for Uttar Pradesh’s hockey team in the Senior National Championship. Playing for this reputed championship isn’t an easy take, so it is a wonderful thing.
  • In 1946, he was first elected to the All Indian Hockey team. This is a huge move that can’t beat anything other achievements.
  • This team, along with K.D.Singh, was sent to Sri Lanka on tour. From this point onwards, K.D.Singh’s career in hockey took a great turn.
  • Later he continued in his career, touring to Afghanistan, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.
  • His captain for British East Africa (presently known as Kenya) tour was none other than the famous Indian hockey player, Dhyan Chand.
  • K.D.Singh scored 70 goals in this tour, breaking the score of their captain, who had only scored 62.
  • From then onwards, Dhyan Chand and K.D.Singh became good friends. Their friendship lasted lifelong.
  • K.D.Singh learned a lot of new skills from this legend.
  • He player tremendously in all the tours. Thus, he was the best player in the team, and without him, India would not have been victorious.
  • He not only scored so many goals himself but also cleared the way for his fellow mates to score.
  • In the 1948 London Olympic Games, he was the vice-captain of the Indian hockey team.
  • In this Olympic Games, India won a Gold medal for Men’s field hockey.
  • Due to his performance in the London Olympics, one of the leading British newspapers wrote, “Babu’s performance was as near to perfection as was possible. Scintillating dribbling and adroit through passes characterized his play, and he was the chief instigator in completely tying the dogged England defense. On many occasions, he dribbled past the whole defense with ease throughout the tournament. He was the brain behind the attacks. It is tempting to write that Babu is as elusive as Dhyan Chand.”
  • Soon, in 1949, K.D.Singh was made the captain of the Indian hockey team.
  • In that very year, he scored 99 goals. This was the maximum number of goals scored by any member of the team.
  • In the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games, K.D.Singh was the captain of the Indian team, and India won a Gold Medal for Men’s field hockey.
  • Due to his performance in the Helsinki Olympics, Former New Zealand Captain C.V.Walter wrote, “I run out of adjectives in trying to describe his excellent dribbling and the timing and geometrical accuracy of his passing. Babu’s dribbling is poetry in motion.”

Kunwar Digvijay Singh

  • He received the Helms Trophy in 1953 as the best hockey player in the world and the best sportsman in Asia. This was a great achievement for India, as this was the first time an Asian had won the Helms Trophy.
  • After these two Olympic Games, K.D.Singh toured to many other countries and achieved great heights in his career.
  • K.D.Singh was well known for his great passing skills.
  • He was also considered as the best dribbler by many people.
  • After his retirement from international field hockey, he served as a coach and Sports Director of Uttar Pradesh State Government.
  • He coached the Indian hockey team for the 1972 Munich Olympics.
  • He was also a member of many organizations such as All India Council of Sports, Rifle Association of India, Railway board, and Wild Life Protection Committee of Uttar Pradesh.
  • He did a lot to develop hockey and other sports all around India.
  • In 1958 K.D.Singh was honored with the prestigious civil award, Padma Shri from the Government of India.
  • This hockey legend died on the 27th of March, 1978, at the age of 56.
  • He died by a gunshot wound from his own weapon while cleaning it.
  • In memory of this great hockey player, two stadiums in Barabanki and Lucknow were built. These stadiums were proudly named K.D.Singh Babu Stadium.
  • Also, a street in Barabanki connecting Chhaya Chauraha and Lucknow-Faizabad Road is named after this legend.
  • “Gold” movie, which was released in 2018, was based on the 1948 London Olympics.
  • In this movie, Amit Sadh played the role of K.D.Singh as vice-captain of the Indian field hockey team.
  • Apart from the two stadiums named after K.D.Singh, nothing else is done to introduce the present generation of hockey players to the great legend of all time.
  • K.D.Singh is remembered only once a year at his stadium in Lucknow. This is when the K.D.Singh Babu Hockey Society organizes the under 14 hockey tournament in Lucknow.
  • Syed Ali, a hockey Olympian and technical secretary of the K.D.Singh Babu Hockey Society once said, “I was fortunate enough to have learned the game from K.D.Singh for five years, from 1972 to 1975,”
  • As a tribute to the legend, the K.D.Singh Babu Society organizes a tournament every year in his name.
  • Also, this society runs an academy for boys between the age of 5 and 18 years in Lucknow.


About the author

Jon Snow

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