Ice hockey in Żelechów

There are only records in the Jednodniówka, edited during the time of the unforgettable Dr. Bacia, then President of the Sports Club "Sęp" in Żelechów, about hockey in Żelechów. Few of the living participants of that team remain. These memories are based on the memories of the still-living: Stasiek Woźniak, Janku Wojtowicz, Mietek Kwaśniewski, Janusz Łysakowski and Bogusław Wojtowicz. The creator of this team was the late Miecio Krawczyk, a physical education teacher at the Mechanical Technical School located in the park in the former palace. The ponds next to the palace served as an ice rink, which, maintained, raked, and with boards piled up, created the impression of a normal ice rink. All of this was inspired by the unforgettable enthusiast of ice skating, a longtime physical education teacher who was also a member of the team.

The team "Sęp" then known as "START" was mainly made up of football players who played in the B-class football team, as well as students from the Technical School, High School and Vocational School. Hockey matches were played on the upper and lower pond in the park, then on a safer pond behind the Primary School (currently behind the Municipal Office), and finally on an ice rink with wooden boards installed at the present-day Culture and Recreation Centre.

After many victorious matches played by our team, it was time for a match against the top team of the Hockey Federation "START". Before this match took place, it is worth mentioning what equipment our team used at that time. They were skates attached to football shoes produced by the "PIECHUR" Shoe Cooperative in Żelechów, which took care of the team. The protectors were made of newspapers, which was very dangerous and painful in case of hitting by a stick or puck. As a result of such hits, there were many injuries. In this equipment, our team played against the START Warsaw team. The match was held on the ice rink, on the pond behind the Primary School, and the result of this match was 11:1 for the team from Żelechów. After winning this match, our Club received full hockey equipment as a prize from the Start Federation, including hockey shoes, protectors, gloves, sticks, and wooden boards with lighting. The boards were placed on the field of the former high school on Traugutt Street in Żelechów, and the ice rink was flooded with the help of fire brigade pumps.

Already in the new equipment, there was a match at the top for the primacy of the START Hockey Federation. After a heroic battle, our team defeated the START Warsaw team with a score of 4:3, thus becoming the best hockey team in Warsaw's Federation. The results exceeded the wildest expectations. Thanks to the great performance of the players, the club fought for primacy in Mazovia. In the final match against Znicz Pruszków with representatives of the country in the team, the Żelechów START lost narrowly. Already in the 1950s, our club was at the forefront of hockey teams in Mazovia. It should also be recalled that due to unfavorable weather conditions, our players traveled to "TORWAR" in Warsaw for training. These trips were organized by an unheated truck provided by "Piechur". All work on pouring the field and setting up the boards was done voluntarily by the players themselves. Therefore, at this point, it is worth recalling who represented our colors:

Ryszard Włodarczyk - an irreplaceable goalkeeper, lived on the corner of Pałacowa and Długa streets. In the late 1950s, he left and no one knows his further fate. 

Stanisław Woźniak - a defensive pillar in both hockey and football, difficult to pass, incredibly brave and very friendly. After completing school, he emigrated to Warsaw. Currently retired, he lives in Otwock. 

Zdzisław Wojtowicz - a full-time defender, able to play with his body, the team captain. He graduated from two faculties at the University of Warsaw and the University of Physical Education in Warsaw. He was a teacher at the High School in Żelechów and an Education Inspector in Piaseczno. He wrote the History of Żelechów and Traugutt in Żelechów in the years 1845-1853. 

Mieczysław Krawczyk - the creator of the team. He was very good at skating and a great organizer. An unforgettable physical education teacher, educator, and driving instructor. Everywhere he worked, he was always the organizer of at least simple skating rinks in the winter. 

Kazimierz Fal - very fast on skates. He played for a short time, and after finishing his studies at the Mechanical Technical School, he left Żelechów. Currently retired, he lives in Świdnik. 

Ryszard Cegłowski - defender and one of the organizers of the team. He worked at the "Piechur" Cooperative from its inception. A soulful person who was happy to help younger ones. Always ready to participate in the club's activities. He took care of the "Piechur" truck, which was always at our disposal. 

Jan Wojtowicz - a skilled skater, excellent stickhandler and possessed incredible endurance. He spent the longest time on the ice and was extremely friendly. Currently retired, he lives in Poniatowa. 

Janusz Łysakowski - was among the younger players. He attended high school in Żelechów. After graduation, he moved to Warsaw. 

Leonard Papliński - played as a student of the high school in Żelechów. After graduation, he moved to Warsaw and held high state positions. He is currently retired and lives in Warsaw. 

Michał Pioruński - a reliable defender, played well physically. He worked for many years at the vocational school in Żelechów as the head of the school workshops. 

Bogusław Wojtowicz - the youngest in the team, extremely fast, and the best scorer. A long-time physical education teacher at the Surveying Technical School and later at the Vocational School Complex in Żelechów. He was also a soccer coach, creator and coach of the "Sęp" Żelechów football team, which played in the third league. He is currently retired and lives in Żelechów. 

Zdzisław Białek - his speed was his advantage in both hockey and soccer. He was a passionate enthusiast of active leisure. He provided a lot of help in organizing the team. He was the President of the "Piechur" Cooperative, and the team's help from "Piechur" was mainly his achievement. He was also the President of the Housing Cooperative in Garwolin.

Mieczysław Kwaśniewski - one of the younger players. A long-time employee of "Bumar" in Żelechów. Currently retired, he lives in Żelechów.

Stanisław Baranek - played hockey and was a very good soccer player. He held managerial positions in PKS in Garwolin and in Polifarba in Pilawa. Currently retired, he lives in Pilawa.

Józef Braun - played hockey and soccer. He was the long-time director of the Primary School in Żelechów. He was a social activist who was involved in the Farmers' Self-Help Cooperative as well as in the Volunteer Fire Department in Żelechów.

Jan Galiński - was a player in our team during his school years. After graduating, he left Żelechów.

Jan Skwarczyński - hockey and soccer player. He was an employee of the school workshops. Later, he ran his own workshop.

Szymański - the first name is unknown to any living players. He was a student of the Technical High School, and he was very good at skating. After graduating, he left Żelechów.

The above material was developed based on the memories of Stanisław Woźniak, Mieczysław Kwaśniewski, and Bogusław Wojtowicz. The text was prepared and sent for publication on our website by Mr. Bogusław Wojtowicz, for which we thank him very much on behalf of all supporters of our club and all others who were interested in the above history. In case we find any photographs depicting events from those times, we will promptly publish them on our website as well.

Leszek Woźniak is the President of the KS "Sęp" in Żelechów.