Michael Kindo
Personal information
Born (1946-06-28)June 28, 1946
Simdega, Jharkhand
Died December 31, 2020(2020-12-31) (aged 74)
Rourkela, Odisha
Height 170 cm (5 ft 7 in)
Weight 62 kg (137 lb)
Playing position Fullback
Senior career
Years Team
1966-1973 Services
1978-1980 Odisha (SAIL)
National team
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1969-1976 India N/A
Medal record
Olympic Games
Bronze medal – third place 1972 Munich Team
Men's FIH Hockey World Cup
Bronze medal – third place 1971 Barcelona Team
Silver medal – second place 1973 Amstelveen Team
Gold medal – first place 1975 Kuala Lumpur Team
Asian Games
Silver medal – second place 1974 Tehran Team

Michael Kindo (28 June 1946 – 31 December 2020) was an Indian field hockey player from the tribal belt of Jharkhand. He played at full back defender position and represented India and competed in the 1971 Men's Hockey World Cup, 1972 Summer Olympics, 1973 Men's Hockey World Cup, 1974 Asian Games, 1975 Men's Hockey World Cup. Prior to this he had competed in several local, national and regional competitions. In 1972, he became the first Adivasi sportsperson to be awarded the prestigious Arjuna Award.[1][2][3][4][5]

Michael was well known for his tackling and dodging skills. He was considered a pioneer in Indian hockey for his no-look pass. According to many of his colleagues, Michael had a clean tackling technique, covered areas well and was a master of ball distribution, which allowed the forwards to play fearlessly. He did the right move at the right time, said former team India captain Ajit Pal Singh. He was known as one of the most dependable team players and was almost never in error in the field. Hockey enthusiasts and his team members frequently remark that Michael was a genuine team player who made solid defense an art form.[6][7][8][9]

Early life

Michael Kindo was born in a village in Bihar(now Jharkhand) on 28 June 1946. He first picked up the hockey stick at RC Boys Middle School in Kurdeg. After he finished his schooling he joined the Indian Navy.[4][2][1][6]


Domestic career

Michael's career took a serious turn when he joined the navy. In his time in the navy, he got selected for and represented the Services hockey team in the national championships from 1966 to 1973. He won the Best Services Sportsman award in 1971.[4][2][6]

International career

Kindo made his international debut in 1969 representing team India in a test series against Kenya. He was a member of the Indian men's field hockey team in the 1972 Munich Olympics, winning the Bronze medal.[10] He had played in all of the first three world cups. They won Bronze medal in the 1971 world cup; Silver in the 1973 world cup and Gold in the 1975 world cup. He also represented India in field hockey at the 1974 Tehran Asian games.[4][2][6][11][12][13][9][14]

In the 1975 world cup, Michael injured his ankle and was substituted with Aslam Sher Khan in the semi-finals against Malaysia. Khan's efforts dragged India into the finals and Kindo lost his spot in the starting 11 against Pakistan in the final match. The ankle injury denied him a place at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, but Michael shortly quit his international career after the team's dismal performance brought India down to 7th place.[4][6][8]

Later Work

Michael joined SAIL hockey at Rourkela in and represented Odisha state in the nationals from 1978 to 1980. He used to hold tournaments for children in his village in Jharkhand. Michael was also a State Team Selector for Odisha in the 1993 Bikaner national championship. He coached hockey at the SAIL Hockey Academy (SHA) at Rourkela, and was responsible for the installment of an artificial turf at the academy.[4][6][15][7]

Retirement and legacy

Kindo quietly retired into his Rourkela home, where he lived with his wife and his son's family. In 2010, when he came to the Delhi world cup, he was put through ordinary security checks, unrecognizable by anybody in the crowd. Michael supported the 2011 merger of Hockey India and the Indian Hockey Federation. In the 2012 Olympics, he was upset seeing India's performance at London, Michael criticized and demanded immediate removal of coach Nobbs.[15][8][16]

Michael Kindo died on the 31st of December, 2020 at Ispat General hospital due to age-related illnesses. According to his family, he was bedridden for quite some time and was suffering from depression.[2][6][15][7][16][12][14][13][17] On Thursday, the 1st of January, 2021, his body was brought from the morgue to the Rourkela hockey stadium for the public to pay their respects and was also bestowed upon with the Guard of Honour by the district police. His body was then taken to Hamirpur church and was laid to rest in the church graveyard.[17][5][18][19][20]

Michael Kindo still remains a tribal icon who instilled the aspiration of tribal hockey all over Gumla-Sundergarh tribal belt. This region is considered a conveyer belt of hockey players today. Former Team India captain and a student of Michael's, Dilip Tirkey said that the 2023 World Cup being hosted in Rourkela was made possible by Kindo. According to Tirkey, even though Michael stopped playing decades ago, he never left his association with hockey. Kindo's colleagues from the 1975 gold team used to call him as kindi bhai; they say that he never let the team's spirit go down. Among his team members, he was known as the gentleman defender who was calm-headed, clean-hearted and simple but was very effective in game. According to Ajit Pal, "We were an attacking side and a lot of us could do that fearlessly because we knew there were players like Michael defending our goal". Michael was one of the first tribals to represent independent India and is the only one to win a world cup. In his honor still today a famous hockey tournament is run by St Mary´s School in the district of Simdega, known as ´Michael Tournament´. [6][15][11][2][7][13][16][12][14]

He protected the goal like he protected the territorial waters as an Indian Navy officer.


List of all medals won and awards received

Source: Times of India,[9] Stick2Hockey[4]


  1. ^ a b Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. "Pension information of Michael Kindo". MoYAS NIC Website. Government of India. Date of Birth: Friday, June 28, 1946
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Michael Kindo passes away: 'A fine gentleman, a great player', 1975 World Cup-winning players remember the hockey hero". MSN. 4 January 2021.
  3. ^ Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. "List of Arjun award Winners for Hockey". MoYAS NIC Website. Government of India. 1972 - Shri Michael Kindo
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Michael Kindo". Stick2Hockey.
  5. ^ a b କିମ୍ବଦନ୍ତୀ ହକି ଖେଳାଳି ମାଇକେଲ କିଣ୍ଡୋ 74 ରେ ପରଲୋକ [Legendary Hockey Player Michael Kindo Passes Away At 74] (Television program) (in Odia). Odisha TV. 1 January 2021. Archived from the original on 12 December 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Vasavda, Mihir (1 January 2020). "Michael Kindo, world-class defender & gentle giant of hockey, passes away". Indian Express.
  7. ^ a b c d Anindita Das (1 January 2021). "Michael Kindo, World-Class Defender & Gentle Giant Of Hockey, Passes Away". TechnoCodex.
  8. ^ a b c "Obituary: Neat Tackler, Sturdy Full-Back, Kindo Was One of a Kind". Stick2Hockey.
  9. ^ a b c Biswajyoti Brahma (1 January 2021). "Michael Kindo was a gentleman, a pillar of strength: Ajitpal Singh". Times of India.
  10. ^ "Michael Kindo Ind". Official Olympics Organization. 1972 Munich - Bronze - Hockey - Men's Hockey
  11. ^ a b c FP Sports Staff (4 January 2021). "Michael Kindo passes away: 'A fine gentleman, a great player', 1975 World Cup-winning players remember the hockey hero". FirstPost.
  12. ^ a b c PTI (31 December 2020). "Michael Kindo, former Olympic bronze-winning hockey player, passes away". IndianExpress.
  13. ^ a b c Asian News International (31 December 2020). "Legendary Indian Hockey Player Michael Kindo Dies At 73". NDTV Sports.
  14. ^ a b c "India's 1975 hockey World Cup winner Michael Kindo, 73, dead". ଉତ୍କଳ (Utkal) Today. Bhubaneswar/New Delhi. 1 January 2021.
  15. ^ a b c d Srivastava, Shantanu (9 December 2018). "Hockey World Cup 2018: An afternoon with Michael Kindo, India's world-beating defender who dazzled with his skills and smarts". Firstpost. Rourkela.
  16. ^ a b c Srivastava, Shantanu (12 February 2012). "Olympian Michael Kindo demands removal of Michael Nobbs". Indian Express. Ranchi.
  17. ^ a b PTI (31 December 2020). "Hockey legend Michael Kindo, 73, passes away". WION News. New Delhi.
  18. ^ (Ground Reporter) (1 January 2021). ହକି ଖେଳାଳି ମାଇକେଲ କିଣ୍ଡୋଙ୍କୁ ଗାର୍ଡ ଅଫ୍ ଅନର [Guard Of Honor To Hockey Player Michael Kindo] (Television production) (in Odia). Rourkela: Prameya News7. Archived from the original on 12 December 2021.
  19. ^ (Ground Reporter) (1 January 2021). ରାଉରକେଲାରେ ମାଇକେଲ୍ କିଣ୍ଡୋଙ୍କୁ ଗାର୍ଡ ଅଫ୍ ଅନର [Guard Of Honour To Late Michael Kindo In Rourkela] (Television program) (in Odia). Rourkela: Odisha TV. Archived from the original on 12 December 2021.
  20. ^ Das, Avaniranjan (Ground Reporter) (1 January 2021). ହକି କିମ୍ବଦନ୍ତୀ ମାଇକେଲ କିଣ୍ଡୋ ରାଉରକେଲାରେ ରାଜ୍ୟ ସମ୍ମାନ ସହିତ ବିଶ୍ରାମ ରଖାଯାଇଛି [Hockey Legend Michael Kindo Laid To Rest With State Honours In Rourkela] (Television program) (in Odia). Rourkela: Nandighosha TV. Archived from the original on 12 December 2021.