Richard Farda

* 1945  

  • "I was listening to the Czech language on the tram. I say Jesus, every car had a Czech number, I was completely out of it. I can't even describe it. It felt like being in the realm of dreams."

  • "We started to think about it later with Vaclav Nedomansky, when we went to Canada, so we slept together. And the discussion was, 'Why not try it here?' as the young players were picked up, but every NHL team had someone on their list and was entitled to it and they could claim it and we could play there. I was then selected for the New York Rangers. Venca Nedomanský, who was of course a very respected hockey player at that time. So we said, we'd like to try it, and the most serious thing was that we asked Mr. Himl, the boss of the whole sport in the Czech Republic, to let us play legally. We were thirty years old - that was around the year 1974? Yes, yes, that was at the last championship in Helsinki in 1974. Then we asked, and he said, 'Gentlemen, you should have been born 100 km further west.' And it was clear to us that we get no permission at all. So we agreed (with V. Nedomansky – editor´s note), he already had a contract in his pocket that we were going on holiday to Switzerland and we left there."

  • "In the last year, in the eleventh grade, I got to the youth and junior training camp in Opava before the start of the season. And there was coach Pitner, then coach of Dukla Jihlava. He came to me proposing I would go to Dukla the year earlier. When I heard that I was jumping with joy. But we didn't know if my mother would agree or not. Mr. Pitner came to my mother, begging her to finish my graduation in Jihlava in two years. She gave a promise and I went to Dukla Jihlava at the age of 17."

  • “I got a letter from the court stating I was sentenced to eighteen months and Nedomansky about twenty-four. Because, at that time after the season, he was given an order to go to Dukla Jihlava. I got a calling order to start on June 1," and we just wanted to leave. I said to him:" Go to Prague immediately and ask Štrougal to extend the term a bit, to get in a month or two later.” He arrived, Himl introduced him there, and Mr. Himl went out and said to Venca, "Well, Venca, you're lucky, you can get in on August 1st." So he left and got about two years and a half, because he was a refugee.”

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    Eye direct, 13.11.2018

    (audio)
    duration: 01:21:13
    media recorded in project 10 pamětníků Prahy 10
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Nobody believed that I, the Brno patriot, could stay outside and run away

Dukla Jihlava, beginning of military service, 1962
Dukla Jihlava, beginning of military service, 1962
photo: Archiv pamětníka

Richard Farda is a Czechoslovak hockey player. He was born on November 8, 1945 in Brno, his father was coach Eduard Farda. Thanks to him, Richard began training in the 1950s in Zbrojovka Brno. When he was 15 years old, his father died in a car accident during his return from a league match. A year later, Richard entered the highest hockey competition for the first time. In the last year of high school, he was spotted by the coach Jaroslav Pitner and he persuaded the witness’s mother to Richard’s early entry in the military service and thus to engage in a successful team Dukla Jihlava. After returning from the war got offers from the best clubs in Czechoslovakia, but he chose with his heart - ZKL Brno (today Kometa Brno). He had to cope with strong competition, but in the very first year he celebrated ZKL title of the Czechoslovak League. Between 1969 and 1974 he was one of the founders of the Czechoslovak national team, with which he won six World Championship medals, including the title of the Prague Championship, and also holds a bronze medal from the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo, Japan. Richard Farda recalls tense matches with the representation of the Soviet Union after the occupation of 1969, whether it was a legendary victory at the World Cup in Sweden in 1969 or a title from Prague in 1972 when he scored a goal in both matches with the Soviets. In the 1970s, he tried to get an engagement abroad legally; Through Switzerland, Richard Farda and his son and son travelled to North America. He played for three seasons there. At home he was sentenced to 18 months in prison for emigration in absentia. In 1977 he returned to Switzerland, where he played for the local clubs, and later worked as a playing coach. In the 1990s he returned to the Czech Republic for a long time, trained hockey extra-league clubs, and also worked in Italy, Germany and Poland.