(Last Updated on : 07/03/2012)
Jarnail Singh Dhillon is a former Indian football player is regarded as one of the most outstanding defenders of India. He was born on 1936 in Panam, Hoshiarpur
. Like many of his illustrious compatriots, Jarnail Singh played a pivotal role in shaping football fortunes of the country during the 1950's and 1960's, which is considered as the golden era of Indian football
Early Life of Jarnail Singh Dhillon
Jarnail Singh Dhillon started playing football at the young age of 16 years for the Khalsa College, Mahilpur of Punjab in the year 1952. He played there for the next four years. For the year 1956- 1957 he played for the Khalsa Sporting club. Before joining the Mohun Bagan club he played for the Rajasthan Club during the year 1957-58. Playing for a period of 10 years, he contributed to the Mohun Bagan Athletic Club from 1958 to 1968.
Career of Jarnail Singh Dhillon
An outstanding player with incredible skills, Jarnail Singh Dhillon has made remarkable contributions towards the successes of Indian football. His heroics in the 1962 Jakarta Asian Games are part of Indian football folklore now. Braving a nasty head injury that required six stitches, Jarnail Singh, in his new role as a forward, scored crucial goals in the semi-final and final to fetch India its maiden Asiad football gold. Two years later, when India became the runner-up in the 1964 Asia Cup at Tel Aviv, he was at his best marshalling the defence with authority and guile. After another commendable show at the Merdeka tournament in Malaysia in the same year, Jarnail Singh Dhillon took over the reins of the team from Chuni Goswami
and continued for more than two seasons with a fair bit of success.
At the domestic circuit, Jarnail Singh Dhillon was associated with the Mohun Bagan Club for 10 glorious years when the green-and-maroon team swept all the major titles at the national level. After quitting from Mohun Bagan in 1969, he went to play for Punjab and inspired the team to win the first Santosh Trophy
in 1970 as a coach-cum-player. The team repeated its success in 1974, playing against Bengal and scoring a 6-0 in the finals.
During the tenure of 1985 to 1990, Jarnail Singh served as the Deputy Director of Sports for the state of Punjab. He also served as the Director of Spots for the same state during 1990 to 1994. The only Indian to be the Captain of the Asian All Star Football team, Jarnail Singh Dhillon was bestowed upon the prestigious Arjuna Award
During his visit to his son Harsha Mohan Singh in Vancouver (Canada) he was admitted to a hospital and on 13th October 2000 Jarnail Singh Dhillon passed away due to an asthmatic disorder.