Manpreet Singh (field hockey)
Manpreet (left) receiving the Arjuna Award from President of India Ram Nath Kovind (right), August 2018
|Full name||Manpreet Singh Pawar|
26 June 1992|
Jalandhar, Punjab, India
|Height||1.66 m (5 ft 5 in)|
|Last updated on: 8 February 2019|
He first played for India in 2011 at the age of 19. He represented India at the 2012 Summer Olympics and was named Asia's Junior Player of the Year in 2014. He was named in the Indian squad for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Early and personal life
Manpreet Singh was born in a farming family in Mithapur village on outskirts of Jalandhar city of Punjab in India. Manpreet is engaged with a Malaysian Illi Najwa Saddique of Pakistani descent. He first met her when the team featured in the Sultan of Johor Cup in 2013 where Indian team won the Gold Medal.
Before the game he focuses and relaxes by meditating with yoga, playing PlayStation and by listening to the Punjabi Bhangra music specially by Diljit Dosanjh and Honey Singh. He carries his PlayStation with him whenever he travels for matches. He is a fan of Salman Khan and enjoys watching movies of sports genre, such as M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story, Chak De! India and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, and he would love to try acting in movies if offered a role.
His big dream is to "win big for India" and biggest goal is to "inspire youngsters to play a sport, any sport".
He was inspired by the former Indian hockey captain Padam Shri Pargat Singh, who also hails from Manpreet's Mithapur village. He was further attracted by the prizes his elder brothers won while playing hockey. Around 2002, he started to play hockey regularly at the age of 10 when his mother locked him in room to prevent him from playing hockey and after he escaped the room his coach told his angry elder brother to at least let him try since he was so keen to play, family started to support him completely after he won his first prize of INR500 cash (US$12 per 2002 conversion rate) in a tournament. In 2005, he enrolled in India's one of the most sought-after Surjit Hockey Academy of Jalandhar. In 2011, he made his international debut as part of Indian junior team. He idolises former German captain Moritz Fürste and is inspired by Sardar Singh style of play. He is also a fan of Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham, and just like them he also wears the same jersey number 7.
In 2013 he became captain of India junior men’s hockey team in the 2013 Men's Hockey Junior World Cup. Indian team also won the final gold medal under his captainship in the 2013 Sultan of Johor Cup after defeating Malaysia 3-0 in final where Manpreet also scored a goal. In 2014, he was titled Junior Player of the Year by the Asian Hockey Federation.
2012–2016: Olympic, Commonwealth and Asian Games wins
Father's death during 2016 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup
Few hours before the 6 April 2016 Japan vs India opening match 2016 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, which India won 1-2, he received the news of his father's sudden death, He missed the next Australia vs India match on 7 April 2016 as he went back to India to perform death rituals for his father, Australian players observed a minute's silence while wearing black arm band to show support for Manpreet and India lost in his absence by 5–1. His mother told him to go back and play to fulfill his father's wish of giving his best to play for the pride of nation. He came back to join the team to play the next Canada vs India match on 10 April 2016, which India won by 1–3. India won again by 1-5 in the next Pakistan vs India match on 12 April 2016 where Manpreet played an important role in creating an early pressure by scoring a goal within first 4 minutes. New Zealand won 2-1 against India on 13 April 2016, where Manpreet scored India's sole goal. India won 1-6 against Malaysia on 15 April 2016 in their last pool match. India won the second place after losing the final against Australia by 4-0 on 16 April 2016. Out of India's total 18 goals in the tournament, he scored 2 during the period of mourning despite missing few matches.
Captain of India 2016 Onward
On 18 May 2017, he was promoted to captain India's hockey team for the three Nations Invitational Tournament in Germany that started on 1 June and the World League Semi Final in England that started on 15 June.
- "Manpreet Singh". Hockey India. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
- "Manpreet Singh Profile". Glasgow 2014. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
- "Manpreet named Asia's Junior Player of the Year". The Hindu. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
- "Hockey captain Manpreet Singh: The #HiddenHero of sport more Indians should know about", Hindustan Times, 27 August 2017.
- "Manpreet Singh". Red Bull. Retrieved 2018-01-30.
- "Manpreet to lead India's strong junior hockey world cup squad", News18, 27 November 2013.
- "India beat Malaysia 3-0 to win Sultan of Johor Cup", Times of India, 29 September 2013.
- "Manpreet named Asia’s Junior Player of the Year", The Hindu, 1 September 2014.
- "Indian hockey team win gold at Incheon, qualify for Rio Olympics", The Hindu, 2 October 2014.
- "CWG 2014: India men's hockey team lose to Australia, settle for silver", India Today, 3 August 2014.
- "MM Somaya, Zafar Iqbal laud India’s Champions Trophy silver", India Today, 18 June 2016.
- "How Hockey Australia paid tribute to Manpreet Singh's father", Sportskeeda, 17 April 2016.
- "Sultan Azlan Shah Cup: India fall in final as Australia clinch ninth title", Indian express, 16 April 2016.
- "Hockey India names Manpreet Singh captain in PR Sreejesh's absence for World League semifinals", First Post, 18 May 2017.