By Emily Goddard

Viktor Tikhonov has died after a long illness ©Getty ImagesRussian Viktor Tikhonov, one of international ice hockey's most successful coaches of all time, has died after a long illness at the age of 84.

The Moscow-born former player led his national squad to three Olympic gold medals in 1984, 1988 and 1992, eight World Championship titles between 1978 and 1990 and the 1981 Canada Cup.

He also guided them to one Olympic silver medal in 1980, one World Championship silver medal and two World Championship bronze medals, as well as leading CSKA Moscow to 13 consecutive Soviet Championships between 1977 and 1989 and 13 consecutive European Cup titles from 1978 to 1990.

As a player, he started his career at the top level as a defenceman with VVS MVO Moscow and Dynamo Moscow and won four consecutive championships from 1951 to 1953 with VVS and in 1954 with Dynamo.

He retired in 2004 when he was coaching CSKA Moscow and had a comeback on the international stage coaching the World Championship team of the same year.

Viktor Tikhonov last coached the Russian national squad at the 2004 World Championship in the same year he retired ©Getty ImagesViktor Tikhonov last coached the Russian national squad at the 2004 World Championship in the same year he retired ©Getty Images

Tikhonov was inducted into the builders' category of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Hall of Fame in 1998 and is a Russian Hall of Fame member.

He was also honoured with a number of awards in his native country, including the Order of Lenin, the Order of the October Revolution, the Order of the Red Banner of Labour, the Order of Friendship of Peoples, the Order For Merit to the Fatherland, the Order of Honour, the Order of Friendship, the Medal for Distinguished Labour and the Medal for Military Valour, and he was named Honoured Coach of the USSR, Honoured Master of Sports and Honoured Worker of Physical Culture.

The IIHF paid tribute to Tikhonov and said his name "will be remembered forever thanks to the incredible legacy that he left in Russian and in international hockey".

Tikhonov is survived by his wife Tatyana and his grandchildren, including grandson, Viktor, who plays ice hockey and was on the team that won this year's Ice Hockey World Championship gold medal in Minsk and also played at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

His funeral will take place in Moscow on Thursday (November 27).

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