Dilip Tirkey (born 25 November 1977), hailing from Sundargarh, Odisha, is a former Indian Odia hockey player and his playing position was of full back. He was best known for his penalty corner hit. Dilip was one of the most difficult defenders (because of his tight marking skill near goal post) to beat in the world. He was an ex-captain of Indian hockey team. On 22 March 2012, he was elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha as one of the three Biju Janata Dal (BJD) candidates to the Upper House of Indian Parliament.

Personal life

Dilip Tirkey was born to Vincent Tirkey an Oraon, Adivasi and former Oriya hockey player and Regina Tirkey on 25 November 1977. His twin younger brothers Anoop Tirkey and Ajit Tirkey play for Railways. He is married to Mamta Tirkey and He was appointed as Deputy Manager in Air India (Bhubaneswar) in 1996. Tirkey is a Roman Catholic Christian.


He made his debut in 1995 against England. He represented India in 1996 Atlanta, 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Olympics and had a total of 412 international caps. He is the only Adivasi to represent India in three Olympics.

On 2 May 2010, he announced his retirement from the international arena.

He declined to become a national selector on 16 July 2010, three days after he was offered the post by Indian Hockey Federation.

Awards and honours

  • Padma Shree, 2004
  • Arjun Award, 2002
  • Ekalavya Award, 1996
  • ONGC-Hockey Year Book Award, 1998
  • Biju Patnaik Sportsperson of the Year Award, 2004
  • Ricoh Hockey Star of the Year, 2009
  • Showcase Odisha Awards, 2012


  • Included in the Junior World XI in 1997
  • Included in the Asian XI in 2002
  • Selected for World All-Star team in 2006
  • Selected for World All-Star team in 2007
  • Received the 2nd Ricoh Hockey Star of the Year Award in Bhubaneswar on 6 July 2010
  • Received the honorary Doctorate from Sambalpur University on 15 July 2010
  • Received the Odisha Living Legend Award from Orissadiary.com on 11 Nov 2011


  • First-ever tribal to get Padma Shree Award
  • India’s highest capped (412 matches) hockey international and second highest in the world
  • Only Adivasi to represent India in 3 Olympic Games.
  • 1995: 7th SAF Games at Chennai (Champions)
  • 1996: Olympic Games at Atlanta, USA (8th place)
  • 1997: Under-21 Test Series against Germany (Winners)
  • 1997: Under-21 Challengers Cup Tournament at Poznan, Poland (Winners)
  • 1997: Junior World Cup at Milton Keynes, England (Runners-up)
  • 1998: Asian Games at Bangkok (Gold medal)
  • 1999: Asia Cup at Kuala Lumpur (Bronze medal)
  • 2000: Olympic Games at Sydney (7th place)
  • 2000: 10th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Tournament at Kuala Lumpur (Bronze medal)
  • 2002: Champions Trophy at Cologne, Germany (4th place), as Captain
  • 2002: Asian Games at Busan, South Korea ( Silver medal ), as Captain
  • 2003: Asia Cup at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Champions)
  • 2003: Afro-Asian Games at Hyderabad (Gold medal), as Captain
  • 2004: Olympic Games at Athens, Greece (7th place), as Captain
  • 2011: Odisha Living Legend Award