Born in Beckenham Kent on February 15th 1897, Carl Erhardt made his mark on British ice hockey in the ‘golden era’ of the 1930s, being widely accepted as one of the games great on-ice motivators.
He was to captain the famous Great Britain team that, in 1936, captured the Triple Crown of World, Olympic and European titles in Germany at the Garmisch-Partenkirchen games. But, Erhardt was something of a novelty amongst his teammates, not having learnt his hockey in Canada, he learnt to skate and play the game while attending schools in both Germany and Switzerland. By the time those memorable games came around, Erhardt a defenceman, was a veteran of 39 years and had played internationally for England in 1931, ’34 and ’35.
In the colours of Great Britain, Carl Erhardt often logged in excess of forty minutes a game and collected many medals including world championship bronze and European silver in 1935, European gold and Olympic gold in 1936 and world silver and another European gold in 1937.
However, his sporting prowess was not confined to the ice rinks of London, where he played initially for Princes and later Streatham, for he was a sporting all-rounder. He excelled at skiing, water-skiing and tennis. He went on to become a founder and first president of the British Water Ski Federation.
After he retired from playing ice hockey in the late thirties, Carl Erhardt took to refereeing, wrote a book on the game and joined the Council of the BIHA, where he regularly sat alongside his old Streatham defensive partner, Ernie Ramus. Erhardt later became a life vice-president of the BIHA and in 1950 was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Ice Hockey World.
Carl Erhardt, the man who captained the 1936 GB team, died on May 3rd, 1988 at the age of 91 years.
Compiled with research, provided by Martin C.Harris and Phil Drackett.