Barford Tigers Hockey Club 1995



Sikhs in Hockey in England

Sikhs have been playing hockey in England since the early 1900s.

In his autobiography, A Little Work, A Little Play, Hardit Singh Malik who was a pupil at Eastbourne College (Blackwater 1910-12) wrote that  ‘I played all the games - cricket in summer, hockey in winter'. This is the earliest record that I have found of a Sikh playing hockey in England.

In the 1920s, various universities had Indians playing hockey and had formed the Indian Club which toured Europe during the winter break.

Kehar Singh Gill, a right half from Punjab, played for the Indian Olympic team against the Combined Services at Aldershot on Saturday 31 March 1928. Kehar was a member of India's Olympic Team who stopped over in England on their way to the Amsterdam 1928 Olympic Games where India won the Gold Medal. This is the first record I have found so far for the first Sikh playing international hockey in England.

Balbir Singh Sr., Tarlochan Singh Bawa and Grahanandan 'Nandy' Singh played at Sudbury, Park Royal, Chiswick and Wembley for India during the London 1948 Olympic Games.

Photograhic records show that that there were two Sikh players who played at the annual Folkestone Festival in 1949.

Sukhdev (Sukhi) Singh Rao played for Brighton Students from 1954 to 1958, captaining the School team in the 1957 - 58 season. Sukhdev went on to play at top London Clubs and County hockey.

Bakhtawar (Tauri) Singh Kullar made his first appearance for Yorkshire in 1956 - 57 season and became the first Yorkshire player to make 100 appearances for the County.

Joginder Singh Dillon played for St Thomas' Medical School in London in 1957 and was awarded his Surrey County Colours in 1959 - 60 season.

Jaswinder (Jas) Singh Missan represented London Universities from 1961 to 1965 and was awarded his University Colours in 1962. He played for Surrey from 1962 to 1970 and was a member of the Surrey team that won the County Championship in 1963. He was awarded his Surrey Colours in the 1962 - 63 season. He joined Spencer Hockey Club, one of London's leading Clubs at the time, in 1965 and Captained the Club from 1970 to 1975. It was under Jaswinder's captaincy that Spencer won the London League in the 1973 - 74 season for the first time in the Club's history.

By 1974, a Sikh player had been selected to represent England and since then Sikhs have been representing England at every level of the game.

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