Sikhs, Lord's and Hockey

Published 21 January 2023: Sikhs, Lord's and Hockey (

Comments / recollections:

Really enjoyed the read. In my time as a player and coach, I witnessed the immense contribution that Sikhs made at Hounslow (HS Sibia) of course at Slough ( Bal, Suti, and several others) in Singapore( Loomba Singh as national coach) in India playing against the greatest ot them all, Surgit & Ajitpal Singh) Also in a small settlement just 70 miles north of San Francisco called Yuba City where the entire local club was composed of Sikhs and in Kuala Lumpur where our trusted  Sapura club sweeper was nicknamed 'Mike' Singh, a full Malaysia international.   Not to mention a northern friend in hockey originally from the Punjab to Lancashire via Uganda( Raj Toor Singh) and my ole mucker of a Brummie umpire, ( Bawa Singh)  The list is endless, part of Hockey's folklore. So glad you have kept the story and heritage alive in such a positive way.
Gavin Featherstone

Loved this. Many famous names. I played with Suti in South Africa on a John Grimmer tour 
Denys C. Shortt OBE

Of particular interest to me as I was very involved with the the 1967 tournament at Lords and the Oval. I was based at Lords for the whole event, save when we moved out to Polytechnic and Richmond due to bad weather. My main job was working with Pat Rowley in the press office. Pat produced a strange "jelly based" printing kit. I had to hand write results/team sheets and other notices, in special ink. You then pressed the sheet onto the jelly surface. The ink stayed on the jelly and, after a short time, you could run off copies, which I then distributed to teams, press etc. You then had to melt the jelly to disperse the ink before you could start again. As you can imagine, you could only do this a few times before the jelly became too dark to use. You then had to start all over again. !! How times have changed.
I suppose I must be one of the few left who worked at the event. Used to drive up each day and park behind the main pavilion. Remember taking the Aussies out onto the pitch, when they first came to inspect it. Some were quite emotional at the thought that they were going to play at Lords. One young player had tears in his eyes when saying how he would be able to tell his grandchildren about it.
I was also at Lords to see Bal Saini's goal
Rodney Rigby

A huge amount of fascinating information - congratulations on a remarkable piece of research.
Shane Smith, Curator of The Hockey Museum

I was stationed in Yorkshire at the time and remember watching the India/Pakistan game on TV. The previous week I had bought World Sports magazine in Hull and when I opened it on bus back to camp there was an article of few pages written by Pat Rowley on the Indian hockey team. I still have the article with me.
Pali Sumal

I saw Jeremy Barham last summer and so nice to see him shared in your story and reflections on Sikhs, Lords and Hockey. Thank you for taking the time to share and great to see so much wonderful history of the sport.
Nick Pink, Chief Executive England Hockey

Superb piece....all this should be in a book.....
Sundeep Misra

A very detailed researched article. It also includes a few video clips to go along with the article. Bal Saini scored a brilliant solo goal in 1977 as shown in one of the video clips. I had the pleasure of playing with most of the Indian team players at their training camp in Jalandhar, l was studying at Lyallpur Khalsa College then. Sutinder played with me at Sikh Union Club Nairobi before he emigrated to the UK and played against Bal Saini as well.
Surjit Rihal

It is nice to get in touch with you again. It is a wonderful researched piece written by you reminding me of 1967 tour. Felt great to be part of Indian team at Lord's in 1967. If you find a picture of me with the Dutches introducing the players kindly send it to me. Wishing you all the best and continue serving the community.
Gurbux Singh, India's captain at Lord's in 1967.

Attached is a photo of the 1967 Aus Team.  There was also an amusing article in the prestigious London Guardian Newspaper under the heading "This is just not cricket" (or something along those lines) with an Australian player standing behind the goals after being sent off (the rule then for temporarily suspended players). I have been unable to find this photo.I have also attached a set up of the pitches at both Lords and The Oval for this tournament.  I still have the program for this tournament held from 16-21 October 1967.
Dennis Meredith, Australian player at Lord's in 1967

A very interesting and informative article. Didn't realise Bawa Singh had umpired one of the varsity games at Lord's. I was selected for the 1986 varsity match at Lord's but because of snow our match was moved to an astro pitch at Fenners (Cambridge).   What a pity
Paramjit Bains, Oxford Blue