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Hamlet Mkhitaryan’s Life and Career: Part 3

Hamlet Mkhitaryan passed away 18 years ago but his achievements are yet remembered.

Hamlet Mkhitaryan with children
Hamlet Mkhitaryan with children

Photo: Marina Tashchyan՛s archive

Hamlet Mkhitaryan with children
Hamlet Mkhitaryan with children

Photo: Marina Tashchyan՛s archive

Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Monika Mkhitaryan
Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Monika Mkhitaryan

Photo: Marina Tashchyan՛s archive

Hamlet Mkhitaryan with his wife
Hamlet Mkhitaryan with his wife

Photo: Marina Tashchyan՛s archive

Hamlet Mkhitaryan plays in France
Hamlet Mkhitaryan plays in France

Photo: Marina Tashchyan՛s archive

Monika Mkhitaryan’s letter to her father
Monika Mkhitaryan’s letter to her father

Photo: Marina Tashchyan՛s archive

Marina Tashchyan
Marina Tashchyan

Photo: Mediamax

Monika Mkhitaryan
Monika Mkhitaryan

Photo: from personal archive


Mediamax Sport continues its special project about Hamlet Mkhitaryan. You can read Part 1 and Part 2 here.

Hamlet Mkhitaryan passed away 18 years ago but his achievements are yet remembered. It’s almost impossible to confuse Hamlet with someone else on the field – it was hard to find a footballer with such speed and technical skills not only in Ararat but also in other teams of the USSR Championship.

The cheerful and enthusiastic footballer was a good husband and father - family had a special place in his life. Hamlet Mkhitaryan’s wife and daughter – Marina Tashchyan and Monika Mkhitaryan – helped us “reveal” the footballer in this part of the special project.

Family members are hardly able to hold back tears when recalling Hamlet

Hamlet Mkhitaryan got acquainted with his future wife - Marina Tashchyan - in Tsakhkadzor, where they were both enjoying their vacations. Marina was only 15 back then and she was there with her friend.

“It turned out I had attracted his attention long before we met in Tsakhkadzor as our houses were located within a close distance. I used to take private lessons in their nearby yard to enter the university”, recalls Marina Tashchyan.


Hamlet Mkhitaryan with his wife
Photo from Marina Tashchyan’s archive

Nevertheless, Marina’s parents were against her getting married with a football player – Hamlet was often away because of matches and training camps and could not devote sufficient time to the family. However, Marina Tashchyan stated that her father was a big Ararat fan and used to keep up with all the matches of the team, very often right from the stadium.

“My father had a clear idea of how busy footballers are. Ararat used to take part in USSR Championship and Hamlet was always traveling. Besides, ahead of the domestic matches, they used to have 3-4-day trainings in Dzoraghbyur”, says Marina Tashchyan.

But the loving couple had no plans to give up and their love overcame all obstacles. Five and a half years later they got married – Marina was still very young and much lay ahead of Hamlet to be accomplished in his career. These years provided a chance for them to know each other better; Hamlet became more well-known, he joined Ararat becoming main squad player, and Marina entered the university.


Marina Tashchyan
Photo: Mediamax

When telling about her husband, Marina was hardly able to hold back her tears several times. “He was the husband each wife needs to be happy. We loved each other immensely; every wife would simply dream of such a better-half. Hamlet was a great husband, son and father”, she said.

Hamlet empowers and inspires its family even today

“I never thought family is such a sweet thing”, Hamlet Mkhitaryan used to say. Indeed, family was all for him; he was a man of family.

Hamlet was the only child in the family and used to live with his mom; he realized the warmth and the significance of a family after he started his own.

“After Monika and Henrikh were born, Hamlet used to constantly say how happy he is to have such a family. He did his best to spend each free minute he had with his children and used to buy the most expensive gifts for them. He used to help me about the house, bathe the children and helped them with homework’’, tells Marina Tashchyan. 


Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Monika Mkhitaryan
Photo from Marina Tashchyan’s archive

Monika believes life treated her dad unfairly by taking him away too early from his family. But even within that short period of time he managed to give so much love and joy to his family that he still empowers and inspires them.

“My father was a very kind and cheerful person in day-to-day life and very goal-oriented in his career. He is always alive in our memories, heart and souls. I believe he is our guardian angel”, says the daughter.

Monika has kind and vivid memories of her father. She recalled that the family used to spend a lot of time together – they used to walk, play, swim, go fishing and meet with friends. One of their most favorite pastimes was traveling not only around France but also around Europe.


Hamlet Mkhitaryan with children
Photo from Marina Tashchyan’s archive

“We loved to attend his matches with the entire family. I remember us waiting for our daddy in front of the dressing room after each match – fans were shouting his name as he stepped out of the room. It was a pleasant feeling for us. Those precious moments will remain in our memory forever”, says Monika Mkhitaryan.

Hamlet Mkhitaryan’s family continues his work

Hamlet Mkitaryan’s disease was diagnosed in 1995 when he was playing in Ararat in French Issy-les-Moulineaux.


Hamlet Mkhitaryan plays in France
Photo from Marina Tashchyan’s archive

He had frequent headaches. The members of the family used to think the headaches were due to cold or pressure drops. But the pain got more regular and Hamlet underwent medical examination. Doctors prescribed pills which only worsened Hamlet’s state. After that Hamlet underwent serious medical examination, which revealed brain tumor. At first, only Hamlet’s godmother knew about the disease.

“I learned about Hamlet’s malignant tumor only after the first surgery. The disease lasted a year and four months and we spent a year in Paris. He underwent three surgeries but the doctor told me there is no hope and if we have plans to return to our motherland, then we should do it now that Hamlet is still able to stay on his feet. I was aware of how the disease would develop and what difficulties await us”, tells Marina Tashchyan. 

Hamlet spent the last months of his life at home where his wife took care of him. When he was already in a critical state Marina sent the children to their grandparents’ house and the daughter sent a letter to her dad: “I love you very much daddy because you give me a treat. Have faith in God, and you will recover”.


Monika Mkhitaryan’s letter to her father
Photo from Marina Tashchyan’s archive

Unfortunately, surgeries and treatment proved ineffective – after one and a half months in coma Hamlet Mkhitaryan died on May 6, 1996; he was only 33.

It was hard for the family to continue living after this grave loss, but Marina proved that her being a strong woman; she managed to raise her children on her own and help them reach their goals.

“After my husband’s death I felt as if life has stopped and I cannot live any more. But I had two children and I had no right to give up and I pulled myself together for the sake of my children. I was 31 back then, Monika was 10 and Henrikh – 7. I am proud of having children who managed to achieve success”, says Marina Tashchyan.


Monika Mkhitaryan
Photo from personal archive

Hamlet Mkhitaryan’s family continues his work. Monika works at UEFA, while star of the Armenian national football team as well as Borussia Dortmund player Henrikh Mkhitaryan is already famous in the world. Marina has been working at the Football Federation of Armenia for long years.

Upon Marina Tashchyan’s initiative, a tournament in memory of Hamlet Mkhitaryan has been held since 1998; young footballers demonstrate their football skills at the tournament.

To be continued.

Hasmik Babayan
Gohar Nalbandian 

Idea of the project: Ara Tadevosyan.

English translation by Sirvard Amatuni

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