The silver-medal winning Czechoslovak national ice hockey team before the 1968 Olympic Winter Games in Grenoble. TOP L-R: Oldrich Machac, Frantisek Sevcik, Jaroslav Jirik, Jan Suchy, Jan Hrbaty, Jan Havel, Jan Klapac. MIDDLE L-R: Frantisek Mach (doctor), Petr Hejma, Karel Masopust, Jri Holik, Frantisek Pospisil, Josef Horesovsky, Vaclav Nedomansky, Jiri Kochta, H.Macourek (masseur). BOTTOM L-R: Jozef Golonka, Vladimir Kostka (coach), Vladimir Nadrchal, Zdenek Andrst (ice hockey union chief), Vladimir Dzurilla, Jaroslav Pittner (coach), Josef Cerny.
photo: KEYSTONE/CTK/Zdenek Havelka
Czech ice hockey mourns the death of former national team forward Jan Hrbaty, who passed away yesterday after serious illness at the age of 77.
Hrbaty represented the Czechoslovak men’s national team in 57 international games, won Olympic silver in Grenoble 1968 and IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship bronze medals in 1969 and 1970. The most important of his 15 goals was the game-tying goal in a 2-2 tie against Sweden at the 1968 Olympics that allowed the Czechoslovaks to finish in second place.
Hrbaty was born in Strazisko u Prostejova. In the village he played ice hockey on the pond and in summer football on the field before he started to play hockey regularly at the age of 16 in nearby Prostejov as a junior and in the second men’s league. Through military service he was moved to one of the country’s top clubs, Dukla Jihlava, when he was 19.
Jan Hrbaty before the 1968 Olympic Winter Games where he scored the game-tying goal to win silver with Czechoslovakia.
photo: KEYSTONE/CTK/Jiri Krulis
Jihlava became his home where he won seven Czechoslovak championships in his 18 seasons before retiring in 1980. He stayed in the city until his death and also worked for the team until the mid-‘90s in the top Czech league.
He was inducted into the Czech Hockey Hall of Fame in 2015. His legacy in hockey in the city was continued by his family. His son Jan as well as his three grandsons Jan, Filip and Adam played for Dukla Jihlava as well.
The last farewell will take place on Friday at 11:00 at the Jihlava Crematorium.