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The great Russian hockey player escaped death in a terrible plane crash. A broken alarm clock saved him.

Date: May 22, 2024 Time: 17:12:15

Vsevolod Bobrov is a really unique Soviet sport. Having started his career in Dynamo football, the athlete became famous throughout the world as a hockey player, won several world championships with the USSR national team, and then led the team as a coach.

The athlete managed to achieve all these achievements thanks to chance. Bobrov narrowly escaped death in a monstrous plane crash that claimed the lives of nearly all of his teammates. The hockey player didn’t get on the plane that day… because of a broken alarm clock.

Army Club Tragedy

In the 40s, Bobrov became famous as one of the best football players in the country – he repeatedly won the USSR Cup and Championship, in which he became the top scorer. Having conquered the football Olympus, the athlete began his hockey career. The high level of skill of the CDKA forward captivated Vasily Stalin and convinced him to join his team: the Air Force.

Photo source: Soviet Sports Archive

But the beginning of the performances of the new club was overshadowed by the tragedy. On January 7, 1950, the team traveled to Sverdlovsk to play Dzerzhinsk, but never made it to the city.

During the flight, the weather conditions worsened considerably: the wind and snow intensified, which made it impossible to complete the flight. The plane was supposed to make an emergency landing at the Koltsovo airport, but the dispatchers preferred to be the first to land local planes. As a result, the military Li-2, on which the team was flying, was forced to go around in circles while waiting its turn. When it was finally time to land, the pilots lost control: the plane crashed.

miraculous rescue

Almost the entire Air Force team became a victim of the accident: 11 hockey players and one coach. Among the dead was also Yuri Tarasov, brother of the famous coach Anatoly Tarasov. Bobrov survived, who … fell asleep during the flight due to a broken alarm. The athlete went to Sverdlovsk by train and learned about the incident on the way.

Photo source: FHR

– On the eve of the departure to the Urals, Bobrov was visiting. The party went on and the bachelor decided not to return to his house in Sokol; it does not matter where you arrive at the airfield in the morning – from his own apartment or someone else’s. In Bobrov’s house, the alarm clock would have gone off at the appointed time, and in a strange house he woke up when the plane with new companions was supposed to approach the Urals, journalist Vladimir Pakhomov recalled.

Another team player, Viktor Shuvalov, who also did not fly to Sverdlovsk that day, put forward a different version of the same story:

– At that time, Bobrov transferred from the CDKA to the Air Force. Kolchugin, the team administrator, was supposed to declare this to the sports committee the next day. Kolchugin filled out Bobrov’s application and bought him a train ticket. There was no alarm clock without sound. Also lucky were defender Alexander Vinogradov, who was disqualified for a fight in the previous match, and coach Matvey Goldin, who was removed from his post by Stalin Jr. some time earlier, Shuvalov told Sport-Express.

Citizens were not informed about what happened in 1950 – the details of the accident remained a state secret. In a short time, a new composition of the MVO Air Force was assembled from relatives and namesakes of the dead: on the radio, announcers announced the composition only by last name. Despite the emergency restructuring, the team managed to defeat Dzerzhinsk with a score of 8:3.

Photo source: Soviet Sports Archive

It seems that for the first time the details of the event were disclosed in the press only in 1969. Then in the weekly “Soviet Sport” “Football Hockey” an article under the heading “Famous Team” was published. In it, the well-known journalist Pakhomov spoke about that team:

– Now the suppression of such an incident for two decades seems absolutely unrealistic. In this story, not only the lack of advanced media played a role: hockey in those years, and sports in general, were not at all what they are today, much less developed and popular. This also explains why only 11 players flew to the match, then they played almost without replacements.

Photo source: Soviet Sports Archive

From lucky to legend

After the plane crash, Bobrov became the undisputed leader of the Air Force. Over the next few years, Vsevolod won the USSR championship twice and became the tournament’s top scorer three times. The athlete became a close friend of Vasily Stalin; he soon made him the coach of the soccer team of the same name. Later, the club was dissolved and Bobrov returned to his native CSKA (then-CDSA).

In the 50s, the athlete became a living legend of Soviet hockey. Bobrov helped the national team win the first world title in the country’s history, and then win the gold of the Olympic Games. Vsevolod ended his career in 1957, leaving behind countless records and achievements. He also happened to be the only person in history to become the captain of the soccer and hockey teams of the same country.

Photo source: RIA Novosti

Subsequently, Bobrov became famous as the coach of the USSR national team, which he led in 1972. Together with the team, he won two world championships (1973, 1974). The legendary athlete died on July 1, 1979 at the age of 57.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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