Sheffield Steelers' touching floral tribute as tragic Marek Troncinsky is laid to rest
Marek Troncinsky, the Steelers defenceman, who died recently in his native Czech Republic, was laid to rest today with orange flowers lying by his side.
The floral tribute was sent by his Sheffield club, on behalf of their players, management and "orange army" fan base.
The club will tomorrow launch an online raffle which will raise funds for Troncinsky's six year old daughter Adrianka.
Steelers said they received a heartbreaking letter from the 32-year--old player's grandmother Jitka and grandfather Mecislav, who flew over to watch him play at Sheffield Arena in the club's last full season.
The grieving couple addressed their letter to head coach Aaron Fox.
It read: "We would like to thank you for giving our grandson Marek the opportunity to play for your great team in the hockey season 2019-20.
"We experienced with passion on TV every match with your team, also took part in one match directly in Sheffield and it was an unforgettable evening for us.
"Thanks to you and the entire management, which have built a high-level team and thus gained a great and numerous audience that is a great success.
"You were able to create a great fighting atmosphere.
"According to Marek, the mood in the cabin (dressing room) was also great, the hockey team mates were at a high level, they were friendly, fair and cheerful.
"Marek liked you so much he loved the fans and they loved him.
The proof of that was an atmosphere (during a post-game autograph session) which was attended by many Sheffield fans and we too.
"It was the last match when we saw our grandson playing live.
"It was an unforgettable experience, unfortunately the last for us.
"Everyone treated us beautifully and so we knew what a great environment he lived (in)" wrote the grandparents.
"Marek was looking forward to next season in England but the tragic event will never allow him to participate again,
"He will definitely support us from heaven.
"Thank you once again and we want you to know that we have a deep respect for you."
The EIHL team said the number 8 "will always be in the hearts of Steelers fans."