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Son of S. Darbara Singh and Surinder Kaur, who migrated to Gurdaspur after partiton in 1947. Has one brother (international hockey player) and two sisters.
Passed matriculation from Guru Nanak Khalsa High School Batala, Gurdaspur, Punjab (India).
Started playing hockey in his childhood age. While playing for his school, he was selected in the district team and from there was selected in the Punjab team. After that he joined Indian Railways in 1965 as a sub-inspector (RPF) against sports quota.
While playing in the Nehru Cup for Railways in 1965, he was selected in the Indian team for test matches against Japan. After that he played many international tournaments including the Olympics and Asian Games.
- Played test matches against Japan, 1965
- Played international hockey tournament held at Hamburg (West Germany), 1966
- Standby in Asian Games, 1966
- Played pre-olympic hockey tournament at London, 1967
- Played international hockey tournament at Madrid (Spain), 1967
- Played test matches against Holland and East Germany, 1967
- Toured Ceylon (Sri Lanka), 1967
- Played test matches against Kenya, 1969
- Played Asian Games held at Bangkok, 1970(silver medal)
- Played Olympic Games held at Munich (West Germany), 1972.
- Vice Captain of the Indian hockey team.
- Top scorer from the Indian side and the third highest scorer in the Olympic Games with 9 goals, including his hat-trick against Australia and three goals against England and also scored the winning goal against Holland in the bronze medal match.
- Won best Sports person of the year award from Railways in 1973.
- Won Dhyan Chand award for his lifetime achievements by the President of India in 2008.