Jarnail Singh (Jarnail Singh Dhillon) was an Indian Football player who was known for his outstanding capabilities as a defender. Jarnail Singh was a member of the Indian squad during the golden era of Indian Football in the 1950’s and 1960’s, and was one of the most important players that had contributed towards the charismatic achievements the team had made in international Football in that period.
Dhillon was born in the year 1936 at a place named Panam in the Hoshiarpur district of Punjab. At the age of 16 years he began playing for the Khalsa Collletge, Mahilpur of Punjab in the year 1952 and continued playing for them till the year 1956. Further, he joined Khalsa Sporting club and played for them for the year 1956-57. Jarnail played for Rajasthan Club, Calcutta during the year 1957-1958, and finally joined the Mohaun Bagan Athletic Club, Calcutta in the year 1958 and played for them till the year 1968, for a period of 10 years.
Although there are so many remarkable contributions made by Jarnail Singh towards the success of Indian Football, there are some incidents that have made him an immortal asset in the history of Indian Football. Perhaps the best example of his sheer dedication and will power towards the success of the team is his Match Winning goal by a header against Korea during the Finals of 1962 Asian Games. Jarnail was having 6 stitches in his head right since the quarterfinal match due to an injury, but his determination was undeterred and he continued playing in the Semi Final and Final rounds with stitched head itself. Amazingly, he scored the Match Winning goal in the Final round with a header only, and became the hero of Indian Football as the Indian team won the Gold Medal at Asian Games 1962.
Just 2 years after this remarkable performance, Jarnail showed his prowess at the 1964 Asia Cup Football at Israel, wherein Indian team was the Runner Up and clinched a Silver Medal. He served as the Captain of the Indian Football team from the year 1965 to the year 1967.
Performance at Domestic Level
At the domestic level, Jarnail played for Mohun Bagan club for a period of 10 years and helped the club win a number of major titles. Jarnail Singh has also been responsible for helping the Football team of Punjab in scaling new heights, and it was under his mentorship that the state Football team was able to win the coveted Santosh Trophy for the first time in the year 1970. The state team won the trophy once again in the year 1974, this time defeating the strong team of Bengal by 6-0 in the final match.
He has been the only Indian Football player ever to be selected for the Captaincy of the Asian All Star team. Jarnail was selected for the position in the year 1966.
Jarnail Singh served as the Deputy Director of Sports for the state of Punjab during 1985-90, and as the Director of Sports for the same state during 1990-94. In honor of his extra-ordinary services to the nation, he was conferred upon the Arjuna Award in the year 1964.
In July 2000 Jarnail Singh (64), a widower, had gone to visit his son Harash Mohan Singh in Vancouver (Canada). While on his visit he was rushed to hospital after he complained of breathlessness. Later that day, 13th October 2000 the Legend Jarnail Singh passed away due to an asthmatic disorder.
- Striked the winning goal that got India the Gold Medal in the 1962 Jakarta Asian Games.
- Received Arjuna Award in the year 1964.
- Captain of the Indian Football team during 1965-67.
- Only Indian to be the Captain of the Asian All Star Football team.