Gert Blome, 1934-2021
by Andrew Podnieks|01 FEB 2021
photo: Birger Nordmark collecion
One of the greatest Swedish players of the 1960s, Gert Blome, died on 27 January at the age of 86. He died in his sleep at the Ostra Sjukhuset hospital in Gothenburg after being admitted five days earlier. 

“I talked to Gert last Thursday,” said Roger Olsson, a long-time teammate and friend. “He hadn’t been feeling well. He had diabetes and had problems with water in his lungs. In the end, the heart couldn’t pump it out. It was hard. He was such a nice man, but a great player who didn’t get the recognition he deserved.”

Blome was a key member of Tre Kronor’s historic gold at the 1962 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, and he was for many years a star with Frolunda Gothenburg in the Swedish league, for whom he played eleven years.

Blome was born in Gavle, Sweden, and developed into an excellent skater. He made his professional debut with hometown team Brynas in the second division in 1955, but a year later moved to Gavle IK for the next five years. During this time he represented Tre Kronor for the first time, at the 1958 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Oslo, Norway, winning a bronze medal. Although he didn’t play at the ’59 Worlds, Blome was back with the team for the 1960 Olympics in Squaw Valley, California, where Sweden placed fifth. 

Soon after appearing at the 1961 Worlds, Blome moved to Frolunda, where he would play the next eleven seasons. Throughout the 1960s he was a star with the team in the SHL and with Tre Kronor on the international stage.

Blome reached the peak of success in 1962, at the World Championship in Colorado Springs. Sweden went through the tournament with a perfect 7-0 record, defeating Canada, Finland, and the United States to win gold. The following year Sweden won silver, finishing second to the Soviets on goals difference.

In 1964, Blome helped Sweden win silver at the Olympics in Innsbruck, his second and last Olympics, and he won two more medals at the World Championships, bronze in 1965 and silver two years later.

Domestically, Blome helped Frolunda win its first title in 1964/65. He and Lars-Eric Lundvall, Ronald “Sura-Pelle” Pettersson, and Olsson were the catalysts of the team. 

“Without him, we probably wouldn’t have won that championship,” Olsson said the other day. “He was playing 30 or 40 minutes a game. He was just sensational.”

Indeed, Blome was awarded the “Guldpucken” as league MVP that season in Sweden. He first met Olsson when the latter started playing for Frolunda in 1964. The veteran Blome took the youngster Olsson under his wings, and while they played together for Frolunda for eight years, they remained close friends off the ice for the next 60 years.

In all, Blome played for Sweden 151 times at the senior level, and in 2017 he was the 111th player named to Sweden’s Hall of Fame.