Former Czechoslovak national team winger Eduard Novak passed away just one month before his 64th birthday. He suffered a heart attack on October 21.
Born in Bustehrad, near Kladno, Novak represented Czechoslovakia in 113 international games scoring 48 goals. He belonged to the Czechoslovak teams that broke the Soviet supremacy on the world stage in the ‘70s.
Novak was part of two of the three teams that won the IIHF World Championship in the ‘70s, in 1976 and 1977. He also won two World Championship silver medals (1971, 1975), Olympic silver (1976) and an Olympic bronze (1972).
At the club level Novak, a member of the Czech Hall of Fame, won five Czechoslovak titles with Kladno as well as the 1977 European Cup. He also played for Kosice during military service and for Pisek and Gottwaldov (Zlin) before getting permission to play abroad.
Novak delighted fans in Klagenfurt (Austria) and played in Japan for Furukawa Denko together with his close friend Frantisek Kaberle Sr. He ended his playing career 1985 in Duisburg (Germany) where he also worked as a coach in the ‘90s.
Novak coached teams in the Czech Republic in Kladno, Plzen, Prague, Zlin and teams in lower divisions. He owned a sports shop in Kladno and operated a hockey school in Marianske Lazne together with Kaberle that was visited by kids and teenagers, including a young Jaromir Jagr.
“Hockey in Kladno lost a great personality,” Kaberle said at yesterday’s funeral service that was also attended by hockey greats such as Josef Augusta, Karel Gutt, Jiri Holecek and Jiri Holik as well as Kladno’s current team.