FIH Hockey World Cup: Down the Memory Lane with Stamps
India is hosting the 14th edition of World Cup Hockey at Odisha in November and December 2018. This article traces the history of Hockey World Cup through the world of beautiful stamps.
Major Dhyan Chand was born at Allahabad on 29 August 1905. He is considered as one of the greatest players in the history of Field Hockey. He was known as "Wizard of Hockey" and "Magician" for his superb ball control. He won three Olympic Gold Medals (1928, 1932 & 1936). In the 1936 Berlin Olympics, India beat Germany 8-1 in the final and he scored three out of the eight goals. It is believed that Hitler became envious of his skills. He is believed to have scored 400 International goals in his career.
He retired from the Punjab Regiment of Indian Army as a Major in 1956 and in the same year he was honored with Padma Bhushan by Government of India. 29 August, his birthday, is celebrated as National Sports Day. A special cover was issued on 29 August 2017 at Bengaluru featuring Dhyan Chand to mark the day as National Sports Day.
A commemorative stamp was issued by India Post on 3 December 1980 on the first death anniversary of Major Dhyan Chand . It is the only stamp on any hockey player issued by India Post.
Journey of the Hockey World Cup
The First Hockey World Cup was played in Barcelona Spain at Real Polo Grounds from 15-24 October 1971. Ten teams participated and Pakistan beat Spain 1-0 in the final to lift the trophy. India were placed third.
Pakistan issued a stamp on 24 October 1971 on the First Hockey World Cup held in Barcelona and another stamp on 31 December 1971 to commemorate Pakistan becoming World Hockey Champions.
2nd World Cup - It was played in Netherlands in 1973. The hosts beat India 4-2 on penalty strokes to win the World Cup.
3rd World Cup - It was held in Kuala Lumpur. India beat Pakistan 2-1 in the final to win the Cup. Malaysia issued two stamps on 1 March 1975 to mark this occasion .
4th World Cup - It was held in Buenos Aires from 21 March to 2 April 1978. Pakistan beat Netherlands 3-2 in the finals to win the Championships. A stamp was issued by Pakistan on 26 August 1978. It features a hockey stick and a ball with Hockey World Cup Trophy in foreground.
5th World Cup - The Fifth World Cup was held in Mumbai (then Bombay) from 29 December 1981 to 12 January 1982. India issued a stamp to commemorate this event.
Pakistan issued a stamp on 31st January 1982 featuring flags of all participating countries and the Trophy. The caption on stamp was "World Cup Hockey Champions 1982".
6th World Cup - It was held in London from 4 October to 19 October 1986. Australia beat England 2-1 in the final to lift the trophy. A stamp was issued by Royal Mail in order to commemorate the event.
7th World Cup - The seventh edition of the World Cup was held in Lahore from 12 to 23 February 1990. The Netherlands beat Pakistan 3-1 in the final to bag the trophy. Pakistan issued a stamp on 12 February 1990 to commemorate this event.
8th World Cup - The 1994 World Cup was held in Sydney from 23 November to 4 December 1994 at Sydney. Pakistan beat Netherlands in the final to lift the trophy for the 4th time. Pakistan also issued a stamp on 31 December 1994 to commemorate the 4th World Cup title.
9th World Cup - The 1998 World Cup was held in Netherlands. They were hosting the World Cup for the third time and lifted the trophy on home soil for the second time by beating Spain in the final 3-2 in extra time.
10th World Cup - The tenth edition of the World Cup was held in Kuala Lumpur from 24 February to 9 March 2002. Germany won their first title by beating Australia 2-1 in the final. Malaysia issued a set of stamps and a miniature sheet to commemorate this sporting event.
11th World Cup - It was held in Germany from 6 to 17 September 2006 in Germany. The hosts Germany lifted their second title by beating Australia 4-3 in the Final.
12th World Cup - The 2010 World Cup was held in New Delhi from 28 February to 13 March 2010. Australia won their second World title by beating Germany 2-1 in the final. A special cover was released in Delhi on 13 March 2010 to mark this event.
13th World Cup - The 2014 World Cup was hosted by The Netherlands from 31 May to 15 June 2014. Defending Champions Australia won the Cup for third time defeating Netherlands 6-1 in the Final. Belgium issued a stamp on this event.
14th World Cup - The 14th edition of the World Cup will be held from 28 November 2018 to 16 December 2018 at Kalinga Stadium Bhubaneshwar in Odisha. 16 teams will be participating in this World Cup. India Post is releasing a Commemorative postage stamp on 27 November 2018 to commemorate this event.