Babu- An Architect of Hockey
K.D Singh Babu was born on Feb. 02 Feb. 1922 in District Barabanki of Uttar Pradesh in a Taluqedar family. His father Rai Bahadur Thakur Raghunath singhji was a keen sportsman and played Tennis. Babu was the fifth son of his father along with him two elder brothers also played for UP team.
Devotier for Hockey
BABU was a born Hockey player and Hockey was his first love. He took the Hockey at the age of 3. In his young days often he slept in his bed hugging his loving stick. In his early years Babu used to represent Comrades Club, Barabanki as well as Lucknow Young Mens Association (L.Y.A). In the year 1938, at the age of 16 Years, he played in the first major tournament, the Trades Cup Hockey Championship, New Delhi.
BABU represented State for 16 years-1944-1959. In the year 1947 he toured East Africa as a Member of the Indian Hockey Team. In the London Olympics 1948 he was Vice-Captain of Indian Hockey Team. In the Olympics Helsinki 1952 he was Captain of the Team. In the Year 1952 the Helms Hall Foundation (Los Angles, California, U.S.A.) selected K.D. Singh ‘Babu’ for the presentation of HELMS WORLD TROPHY for being the Best Athlete in Asia and Best Hockey Player of the World. In recognition of his services to the cause of sports, the Govt. of India honoured ‘Babu’ with the prestigious title of ‘Padmashri’ in 1958. In the world of Hockey, he was equally good to hockey wizard Major Dhyan chand. Babu had a fantastic and fascinating stick work and he could mesmerise the best of defence. Babu excelled in short parallel and through passes. By his perfect control on ball, dribbling, body swerve dodges and feint of stick he was able to draw the entire defence towards him and lay beautiful passes to his teammates to score. He always played for the Team. A unique characteristic of Babu was his unselfishness as far as the honour of individual scoring was concerned. Still his goal tally was outstandingly impressive. The main beauty of Babu’s game was that he always kept the ball straight in front of him while on the move, thus keeping the option open to him to go past the defender either by the right or by the left, which completely upset and disbalanced the defender keeping him guesssing and leaving Babu free either to score or pass the ball to the centre forward for a free hit at the goal.
Planner and Administrator
In the year 1956-57 U.P. Sports Council was constituted and Babu was appointed as Organising Secretary. With the constant efforts and persuation of Babu, Sports Directorate, U.P. was constituted in the year 1964 with Babu as its Director. Babu took great pains in coaching these young players, under Babu’s watchful eyes the boys soon developed into matured, disciplined and skillful players. He also planned and got the Sports college established to impart coaching to the youngsters in various games and sports. The scheme has produced outstanding players at National and International level. (Mr. Syed Ali, Ravindra Pal Singh, Mohd. Shahid, Jagbeer Singh & Shakeel Ahmad etc. Olympian’s). Babu’s idea of Sports college/Hostels was subsequently picked up by other States also. Babu was appointed Coach of the Indian Hockey Team for a number of times, including Munich Olympics 1972. BABU played Hockey, lived Hockey, breathed Hockey and dreamed Hockey. The sudden decline in the standard of Indian Hockey was source of great pain and anguish for Babu. Besides Hockey, which was his first love, he had set his hands on games like Golf, Football Tennis, Cricket, Badminton etc. He was a keen angler, a good hunter pass excellence. .
The admirers and friends of late Shri K.D. Singh ‘Babu’ formed a society in 1979 to perpetuate the memory of the great Hockey player and to carry out his vision and ideas about the game of Hockey. The main aims and objects of the Society are :
(1) To encourage and train enthusiastic boys and girls. To arrange and assist in organising coaching camps.
(2) To encourage and organise District, State and All India level Hockey Tournaments for Boys and Girls for the age group of 10 to 14 years.