Top 10 Greatest Field Hockey Players of All Time

In this article I will update 10 greatest field hockey players. It is generally accepted that the Irish game of hurling and its Scottish counterpart, shinty, were the ancestors of the modern game of field hockey. Both of these games were very popular and were documented as early as 1272 B.C. 

Around one thousand years ago, the Mongolian people of China played a more complex version of this game called Beikou. The game was known by that name. Chueca, also known as The Twisted One, was a game that was mostly played by Araucano Indians during the time when European invaders arrived in Chile.

 Europeans documented a game that was quite similar to this one and named it. Since that time, this sport has established itself as one of the most widely participated in sports around the globe. And now, in no particular order, here are the top ten best field hockey players of all time.

List of the Greatest Field Hockey Players of All Time | Updates for 2023

In 1853, a book written by Lord Lytton was discovered to have the very first mention of the name of this game using current procedures. 

The first time he referred to this sport by its own name was in a passage he penned that began, “On the common several young men were playing hockey.” That archaic game, which is almost never played anywhere in England these days save from in schools…

The game of field hockey gradually moved beyond its roots as only a sport played in schools and began to gain popularity in countries all over the globe.

This pivotal competition at the Olympic Games has never failed to provide exceptional athletes and give sports fans a surge of excitement since its inception. The Men’s FIH Hockey Junior World Cup is among those events that helps the game in polishing themselves earlier in their career.

The following is a list of the best ten field hockey players of all time, in order of their overall greatness.

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10. Fergus Kavanagh

Fergus Kavanagh, an Australian field hockey player, is regarded as one of the best field hockey players of the contemporary era by a significant number of observers.

He is a regular member of the Australian men’s national field hockey team and plays for the Western Australia state side in the Australian Hockey League. In addition, he has represented Australia in international field hockey competition.

Both the 2010 Hockey World Cup in Delhi and the 2014 Hockey World Cup in The Hague were won by Australia when he was a major member in the team. 

In addition, Fergus was the captain of the national team that won a gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi as well as two bronze medals in the Olympics. Aside from that, he competed for Australia in the Azlan Shah Cup in the year 2011.

In addition to being the absolute finest defence in field hockey, he also scored 14 goals for the national team over the 191 games he played in for them. The second major accomplishment he has to his name is winning the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.

9. Dhanraj Pillay

Dhanraj Pillay, who played field hockey for India for many years, was the sole player from India to be selected for the World Eleven team that competed in the World Cup in Sydney in 1994. 

He is the first player in the history of field hockey to compete in four Olympic tournaments (1992–2004), four World Cup tournaments (1990–2002), four Champions Trophies (1995–2003), and four Asian Games (1990–2002).

In addition to his role as captain of the Indian national team, Pillay led his country to victory in both the 1998 Asian Games and the 2003 Asia Cup, earning gold medals in both competitions. He became the all-time leader in goals scored at the Bangkok Asian Games after tallying more than 170 of them throughout 339 appearances for his country’s national team.

In the year 2000, he was presented with the Padma Shri, which is the highest civilian distinction that can be bestowed in India, in addition to the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna medal. The current position that Pillay has on our list of the best field hockey players of all time is eighth.

8. Jamie Dwyer

Jamie Dwyer, an Australian field hockey player, has been a pioneering member of the Australian men’s field hockey team from the year 2001 till the present day. 

During his career, which consisted of more than 250 matches, he scored more than 150 goals. At the Summer Olympics in 2004, he captained the national squad that would go on to win the gold medal.

Dwyer was also a significant member of the national squad that won bronze medals in the Summer Olympics in both the year 2008 and the year 2012. 

He is now regarded as one of the best field hockey players in the history of the game. Jamie participated in the Commonwealth Games in both 2006 and 2010. When he was a member of his squad and earned a gold medal in each of those years.

He took home the silver medal in the 2002 Men’s Field Hockey World Cup and the gold medal in the 2006 Men’s Field Hockey World Cup. He also won the men’s hockey world cup in 2010 and took home the gold medal. In both 2004 and 2007, he was selected as the IHF World Player of the Year.

7. Ties Kruize

Ties Kruize is largely recognised as the finest penalty corner taker in the history of field hockey. He played for the Netherlands national field hockey team for many years. 

In 1973, he competed in the Amstelveen Hockey World Cup and brought home the gold medal. After that, Kruize competed in the 1978 Hockey World Cup in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and earned the silver medal.

He was a member of the Dutch national team that competed in the EuroHockey Nations Championship. And won the bronze medal in 1974 in Madrid and the gold medal in 1983 in Amsterdam. 

Both of these victories occurred in Amsterdam. At addition, Kruize demonstrated his incredible talent with a hockey stick in the Hockey Champions Trophy. Where he won the gold medal two years in a row, first in Karachi in 1981 and then in Amstelveen in 1982.

In addition to playing for the national team. He was a founding member of the HC Klein Zwitserland club, who won the Dutch championship a total of eight times in a row between the years 1977 and 1984. 

The current position that Kruize has in the list of the top 10 greatest field hockey players of all time is number seven.

6. Teun de Nooijer

Teun de Nooijer, a field hockey player from the Netherlands, is largely regarded as one of the best field hockey players to ever compete in modern times. 

He was a member of both his national squad and the Dutch team HC Bloemendaal throughout his time in the sport. In addition, he participated in the game of hockey with the Uttar Pradesh Wizards of the Hockey India League.

On August 15, 2009, the Dutch national team won 5-3 against India. Which marked the completion of his record 400th game as a pioneering striker for the Dutch national team. 

In the year 1996, Nooijer was a pioneering member of the Dutch national squad that competed in the Olympics. He had accomplished this feat in both the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

He also guided his country’s squad to the finals of the Olympic competition at both the 2004 Games in Athens and the 2012 Games in London.

 Teun came away with a silver medal in each of his competitions. He was given a bronze medal in both the 2002 and 2010 World Cup tournaments. He won the 1998 Hockey World Cup, which was held in Utrecht.

5. Shahbaz Ahmed

Shahbaz Ahmed, who played field hockey for Pakistan in the past, is largely regarded as one of the greatest forwards in the history of the sport.

In addition to this, we have moved him up to the fifth spot on our ranking of the best field hockey players of all time. Because of his incredible dribbling abilities with the stick, people began to refer to him as “The Maradona of Hockey.”

In the year 1986, Ahmed was invited to try out for the Pakistan National Hockey Team. In 1994, he captained his side and guided them to the triumph that would earn them the Men’s Hockey World Cup. He was a member of both the Pakistan national team and the German club Harvestehuder throughout his career.

After the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, he went on to make an appearance for the Dutch club Oranje Zwart. Shahbaz qualified for and competed in three Olympic Games.

The last of which he earned a bronze medal in 1992. He won the title for player of the tournament a record-tying two times in a row. At the 1990 and 1994 World Cups, making him the first player in the annals of Field Hockey history to accomplish this feat.

4. Hassan Sardar

Hassan Sardar, a former field hockey player from Pakistan, is considered by many people to be one of the top 10 greatest field hockey players of all time.

In addition, the Pakistan Hockey Federation considers him to be their finest player ever. At the 1984 Summer Olympics, which were held in Los Angeles. He captained the Pakistan men’s national team, who went on to win the gold medal and the competition overall.

In 1982, Mumbai played host to the World Hockey Cup for the first time, and Sardar was there to compete. 

And there, he demonstrated why he is Pakistan’s finest ever centre-forward player to come out of the country. In 1982, he competed in his very first World Cup and came away victorious. He won the award for Man of the Tournament after scoring 11 goals throughout the competition.

Sardar was honoured for his significant role in Pakistan’s 7-1 victory against India at the 1982 Asian Games held in New Delhi. This victory was one of the highlights of Sardar’s career. 

On that particular occasion, he scored a hat-trick of goals. In addition to his roles as the national team’s head coach and general manager. He is now serving as the Chief Selector for the Pakistan field hockey team. In the past, he has held both of these positions.

3. Ric Charlesworth

Ric Charlesworth, a former player and coach for Australia in the sport of field hockey. He was honoured with the Advance Australia Award in 1984 in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to the sport. He was a founding member of the Australian squad and participated in all five Olympic competitions throughout his career. In addition to that, he served as captain on two different occasions between the years 1972 and 1988.

In addition, Ric was the captain of the Canadian team that won the World Hockey Championship in London in 1986. He holds the record for most wins as Western Australian Sportsman of the Year with three victories. He was honoured with the Citizen of the Year award for Western Australia in the year 2001. In 1987, Ric was honoured by being inducted into the Australian Hockey Hall of Fame.

And with that, he became the second player in the history of the league to reach that milestone. In addition to that, in 1995 he was inducted into the Champions Hall of Fame in Western Australia. In recognition of his remarkable career, the Australian Sports Medal was awarded to him in the year 2000. On our list of the top 10 greatest field hockey players of all time. Ric has moved up to the third spot.

2. Sohail Abbas

Sohail Abbas, a Pakistani field hockey player, is widely regarded as one of the country’s most brilliant exports. In addition to that, supporters consider him to be one of the most accomplished field hockey players of all time. 

He has the most goals scored by anybody in the history of contemporary field hockey. Sohail is the first individual in the annals of sports history to achieve the 300-goal plateau.

In the annals of international hockey. He holds the record for being the player who broke the 100-goal and 200-goal barriers in the shortest amount of time. 

Due to the fact that he converts drags into flicks at a rate of 65 per cent. Sohail is considered the best flicker. Additionally, he is the current holder of the record for the most goals scored in a single calendar year with 60 goals scored in the year 1999.

It is interesting to note that in 2004. He scored 59 goals, which brought him very close to breaking his own record.

It is the only time in the annals of sports history that a player has ever scored 21 hat tricks. Including a double hat trick. The Pakistani international has also scored 16 goals during his three appearances at the World Cup, making him the all-time leading scorer of the country.

1. Dhyan Chand

The Indian field hockey player Dhyan Chand is generally acknowledged to be the best player to ever compete in the sport of field hockey. Fans believe that he is the finest athlete in the annals of Olympic competitions. During his time playing hockey, India was the most dominating team in the world. Between the years 1928 and 1936, they won a total of three gold medals at the Olympics.

During his career, which spanned from 1926 to 1948, he was responsible for more than 1000 goals. Because of this, people began to refer to him as “The Wizard.” His mesmerising stickwork attracted spectators from a variety of various locations to the Olympic hockey field. A piece that was written about him in a German publication included a title that read. “The Olympic complex now has a magic show too.”

It is an intriguing fact that the Fuhrer was so pleased with Dhyan Chand’s abilities that he offered him the position of Colonel in his Nazi army. However, Dhyan refused the offer and remained a private in the Nazi army. As a result of his incredible skill, the authorities in the Netherlands once snapped his stick in half. They performed it before to each game in order to determine whether or not the hockey stick included a magnet. The death of this sorcerer occurred on December 3rd, 1979.


I hope you enjoy the article about 10 greatest field hockey players. In addition to being the cradle of many extraordinary abilities. The sport of field hockey is also replete with a wide variety of interesting anecdotes. The British Empire was responsible for its first dissemination over the lands they ruled. Which led to its subsequent rise to popularity. 

And in the end, it ended up being the single most important factor in field hockey’s meteoric rise to prominence. The majority of the subcontinents, including Australia and New Zealand, were the places where it first gained widespread recognition.

FAQs: The Greatest Field Hockey Players

Who do you think is the best field hockey player in the history of the game?

Fans and sportswriters alike agree that Major Dhyan Chand was the best field hockey player that ever lived. He is universally hailed as the sport’s all-time great. Chand was India’s shining star during a period in which they dominated field hockey. He was given the nicknames “The Wizard” and “The Magician” for his superb control of the ball, and he was known as “The Wizard.”

Who in hockey is known for having the quickest drag flick?

It’s no secret that Singh has lightning-fast hands. It was once said that he had the quickest drag flick in the world (with a speed of 145 kilometres per hour). Under his direction, the Indian side triumphed against Malaysia in the finals of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in 2009 and took home the trophy. The match took place in Ipoh.

Who first developed the sport of hockey?

In the early 1800s, the sport of hockey evolved into the team-based format that is being played today in Nova Scotia. The Canadians are the ones who know the most about hockey in today’s world. James Creighton is often cited as the one who is responsible for the establishment of ice hockey as a team sport.

Which nation has the greatest success in the sport of field hockey?

Pakistan has a perfect record in this competition, winning it four times. The Netherlands and Australia each have three victories to their names, while Germany can boast two victories to its name.
 Both Belgium and India have one victory under their belts. Bhubaneswar, which is located in India, played host to the 2018 World Hockey Tournament between the dates of November 28 and December 16.

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