On the occasion of Dhyan Chand's birth anniversary and National Sports Day, here are some unusual facts about the greatest hockey player of all time - Dhyan Chand.
>> After seeing Dhyan Chand play at Adelaide in 1935, Sir Donald Bradman remarked, "He scores goals like runs in cricket!”
>> Known as “The Wizard” for his superb ball control, Chand played his final international match in 1948, having scored more than 400 goals during his international career.
>> He scored over 1000 goals in his career, from 1926 to 1948.
>> Dhyan Chand was also known as 'Hockey Ka Jadugar'.
>> Major Dhyan Chand’s birthday is celebrated as National Sports Day in India.
>> He was called Chand by his team-mates because he used to wait for the moon to come out for practice.
>> During the 1936 Olympic final against Germany, it's said that Dhyan Chand removed his spiked shoes & stockings in the 2nd half and played with bare foot. He managed to score and scored three goals.
>> In the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Dhyan Chand who was the flag-bearer, refused to salute Hitler.
>> In Berlin, Adolf Hitler wanted to buy his stick after watching the final match against Germany.
>> Once, while playing a hockey game, Major Dhyan Chand was not able to score a goal against the opposition team. After several misses, he argued with the match referee regarding the measurement of the goal post, and amazingly, it was found to not be in conformation with the official width of a goal post (as prescribed under international rules).
>> After India played its first match in the 1936 Olympics, Dhyan Chand's magical stickwork drew crowds from other venues to the hockey field. A German newspaper carried a banner headline: 'The Olympic complex now has a magic show too.' The next day, there were posters all over Berlin: Visit the hockey stadium to watch the Indian magician Dhyan Chand in action.
>> After seeing his prolific play at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Adolf Hitler offered Dhyan Chand, a Major in the British Indian Army, German citizenship and an offer to promote him to the rank of a Colonel. But Dhyan Chand rejected the offer.
>> In Holland, the authorities broke his hockey stick to check if there was a magnet inside.
>> On one occasion, a lady from the audience asked Dhyan Chand to play with her walking stick instead. He scored goals even with them.
>> Residents of Vienna, Austria, honoured him by setting up a statue of him with four hands and four sticks, depicting his control and mastery over the ball.