Integrity Score 759
No Records Found
No Records Found
Once upon a time – Hockey Legacy
The Anglo Indian community behind India becoming the world's hockey powerhouse
By Saurabh Duggal
Hero of the 1936 Berlin Olympics great Jesse Owens went on to win four gold (100m, 200m, long jump and 4X100m) and created as many world records. Even before getting into the track it was expected that he would make the podium finish in all the events, but for the American sprinter it was the Indian hockey team whose gold was confirmed. Owens said to Joe Galibardy, the member of the Indian hockey team: “I can’t be sure of my gold medal, but the hockey gold is yours.”
“This was the legacy Indian hockey used to enjoy at world arena,” Vishakhapatnam-based Noel Thomos had said. Thomos did an extensive research on Anglo-Indians contribution in the Indian hockey.
Hockey was introduced to India by its Colonial masters, but the former became the world power.
In India’s golden period in hockey, especially during the pre-Independence era, it’s the Anglo-Indian community that played a pivotal role in promoting hockey.
India competed in the Olympics for the first-ever time in hockey during the 1928 Games and won gold convincingly. The team which had stalwart likes Dhyanchand, it was nine Anglo-Indians - Richard Allen, Leslie Hammond, Michel Roque, Eric Penniger, Rex Norris, Fredric Seamans, George Marthin, Maurice Gately and William Goodsir-Cullen (out of which eight were in the playing XI) which equally share the credit of winning the first Olympic gold for India. Moreover, it was Penniger, who captained during the final and also went on to play in the 1932 Olympics.
There were eight Anglo-Indians - Richard Allen, Leslie Hammond, Eric Penniger, Carl Tapsell, Dicky Carr, AC Hind, Frank Brewin and Willliam Sullivan - in the 1932 Olympic squad, while in 1936 squad there were six - Allen, Tapsell, Ernest Goodsir-Cullen, Joe Galibady, Lionel Emmett and Cyril Mitchie.
They had their presence even in the post-Independence squads too. In the 1948 gold medal winning squad there were four, including Leslie Claudius, who went on to play in four Olympics and won three gold and silver. The 1952 squad had one, while in the next-two editions it was only Claudius. In the 2004 Athens Olympics, it was Adam Sinclair from the ethnic group to make it to the squad.
To be continued...