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Klaus Hirche: The man in the black mask is dead | Regional

The east of ice hockey mourns Klaus Hirche. The former GDR goalkeeper from Weißwasser died peacefully on Tuesday morning at the age of 82.

Hirche was Dynamo Weißwasser’s No.1 goalkeeper for 14 years and with her he won eleven East German championship titles. The Weißwassereraner was also a fixture in the national team.

Klaus Hirche died at the age of 82

Klaus Hirche died at the age of 82

Photo: Thomas Eisenhuth

He stopped in goal 118 times for East Germany, took part in eight world championships and the 1968 Olympic Games. He celebrated his greatest success in 1966 at the European Championships in Ljubljana, when the GDR won the bronze.

Klaus Hirche (far left) as assistant coach of the GDR national ice hockey team at the 1974 World Cup in Helsinki

Klaus Hirche (far left) as assistant coach of the GDR national ice hockey team at the 1974 World Cup in Helsinki

Photo: picture-alliance / dpa

Hirche went down in ice hockey history as “the man in the black mask”. A Swedish sports journalist gave him the nickname during the 1963 World Cup because he was one of the first goalkeepers to play internationally in a (black) mask.

After his active playing time, Hirche was always related to ice hockey and started working as a manager. He coached the SG Dynamo Weißwasser team for four years and won three league titles during that time. For two years he worked as a coach for the East German national ice hockey team and took part in two world championships.

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