Known as The Magician of field hockey, Dhyan Chand, one of the greatest hockey players from India, is remembered for his three Olympic gold medals and for his ability to control the ball. The Padma Bhushan awardee initially loved wrestling but deviated to hockey after joining the army.
Sandeep Singh is an Indian field hockey player who led the Indian team in the 2009 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup where his team defeated Malaysia in the finals. Singh also helped his team win a silver medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. He was honored with the prestigious Arjuna Award in 2010. His life inspired the 2018 biographical film Soorma.
Apart from coaching the Australian women's hockey team, former Australian MP and professional cricket and field hockey player Ric Charlesworth has also served as a consultant for the New Zealand national cricket team and the Fremantle Football Club. Charlesworth has also penned books such as Shakespeare the Coach.
Indian hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr. is remembered as one of the greatest center-forwards in the world. Born to a freedom fighter father, he was later inspired by India’s 1936 Olympic hockey win and took up the sport. He later made history by winning three Olympic hockey gold medals.
Legendary hockey player Dhanraj Pillay, who revolutionized Indian sports with his talent, appeared in four Olympics and four World Cups. He also led India to gold medals in the Asia Cup, the Asian Games, and the Champions Challenge. The Padma Shri awardee is now an Aam Aadmi Party member.
Sohail Abbas is a Pakistani former field hockey player. With 348 international goals under his belt, Abbas is the highest goal-scorer in the history of field hockey and is counted among the greatest players of all time. Nicknamed King of the drag flick, Sohail Abbas was renowned for his lethal drag-flicks, speed, and accuracy.
Alastair Denniston was a Scottish code breaker and hockey player. He was deputy head of the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) from 1919 to 1942. As a member of the Scottish Olympic hockey team in 1908, he won a bronze medal. He worked as a code breaker during the war years. He taught French and Latin following his retirement.
Marilyn Agliotti has represented both South Africa and the Netherlands in field hockey. The two-time Olympic gold medal-winning athlete is a lesbian and is married to another woman. An avid animal lover, she supports the Animal Foundation Platform, which works for the development of stray animals.
Nova Peris is an Australian athlete and former politician. In 1996, she became the first Aboriginal Australian to earn a gold medal at the Olympics; she was part of the women's hockey team that won the gold medal. She switched sports to sprinting and participated in the 1998 Commonwealth Games, winning gold medals in the 200m and 4x100m relay events.
Known as one of the world’s best drag flickers, hockey player Rupinder Pal Singh is best known for being part of the bronze-winning Indian squad at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He is also known for his towering 6’4” frame. He retired from international hockey in 2021.
One of the best drag flickers in Indian hockey, V. R. Raghunath first gained fame with his debut appearance as part of the 2003 Sub-Junior Asia Cup-winning Indian squad. The Arjuna Award-winning player later won several medals, including a Commonwealth silver and an Asia Cup gold.
Sardara Singh is an Indian retired field hockey player who captained the men's national team from 2008 to 2016. In 2014, he helped his team win the gold medal at the Asian Games in Incheon. He also won the gold medal at the 2017 Asia Cup in Dhaka. In 2015, Sardara Singh was honored with the prestigious Padma Shri Award.
Educator Janet Smith is best remembered as the wife of former Rhodesian prime minister Ian Smith. Born to Scottish parents in Cape Town, Janet was a talented hockey player and later married a rugby player. Her first husband died in an accident during a rugby practice match.
Vandana Katariya is an Indian hockey player who achieved national recognition in 2013 when she became India's top goal-scorer in the Women's Hockey Junior World Cup, helping her team win a bronze medal. As a member of the senior team, Vandana Katariya helped the team win the bronze and silver medals at the 2014 and 2018 Asian Games respectively.