Ferenc Puskás has died

by Chris Bertram on November 17, 2006

Ferenc Puskás, whose Hungarian team thrashed England at Wembley in 1953 with tactics that anticipated “total football”, and who is widely considered to have been one of the great talents of all time, has died. Obits and articles: “Brian Glanville in the Guardian”:http://football.guardian.co.uk/News_Story/0,,1950662,00.html, “Jonathan Wilson in the Guardian”:http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/sport/2006/11/17/best_beckenbauer_platini_zidan.html, “Soccernet”:http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=392277&cc=5739, “Football365”:http://www.football365.com/story/0,17033,8750_1694091,00.html, “Simon Barnes in the Times”:http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,27-2458213,00.html, “Times obituary”:http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,27-2458262,00.html .



Peter Briffa 11.17.06 at 11:45 am

They could have done with him a month or so ago when plucky little Malta slaughtered the Mighty Magyars in a European Qualifier.



Eszter 11.17.06 at 12:42 pm

Good to know that I can just read CT for essential Hungarian news.

Peter, it’s been downhill for decades, is this even surprising anymore?:(


Randy Paul 11.17.06 at 2:07 pm

What Eszter said. Hungarian football clearly reached it’s high point in the Puskas era.


oneangryslav 11.17.06 at 2:54 pm

Ah, but at least they’ll be playing Euro2012 matches at home–I hope (as a Croat, I’m anxiously anticipating UEFA’s announcement that Hungary and Croatia will be co-hosts of Euro2012). Their bid is impressive and makes the most sense.
The state of contemporary Magyar football is truly disappointing.


ben alpers 11.17.06 at 4:48 pm

Since it’s probably not going to get a post of its own, let me note that former University of Michigan football (yeah, our kinda football) coach Bo Schembechler has also died, on the eve of the Ohio State-Michigan game.

I have no personal connection to the University of Michigan, but as a kid I always rooted for the Wolverines against the Buckeyes, ’cause they had great uniforms, they were a blue and yellow team whose rival wore red (and I grew up as a University of California fan, whose blue-and-gold clad Golden Bears played against the evil, red-clad Stanford CardinalS, as they were then known), and I couldn’t stand Schembechler’s great rival, tOSU coach Woody Hayes.


DC 11.17.06 at 7:20 pm

Although I haven’t read any of those obituaries it seems likely that at least one of them incorrectly refers to that 1953 whupping as England’s first home defeat by a European (i.e. non-British) side. Of course, that honour belongs to the Republic of Ireland side that won 2-0 at Goodison Park in 1949. Though a case can be made for the victory of the (pre-independence, pre-partition) Irish side of 1914.

Just sayin’.


trialsanderrors 11.18.06 at 2:55 am

The Times obit (which also spells his name Ference) does.


Chris Bertram 11.18.06 at 3:37 am

As Kieran “has often pointed out”:http://www.kieranhealy.org/blog/archives/2003/07/01/british-sporting-heroes/ , Irish people count as British when they are doing well at sport. This being the case, it is impossible for an Irish victory to count as a non-British victory (and, conversely, an Irish defeat cannot count as a British defeat). So in all matches between British teams and Irish teams, a British team has won. A remarkable 100 per cent record.


Justin Horton 11.18.06 at 7:22 am

Well chuffed to see that Glanville manages to shoehorn himself into the obituary as usual. Being glimpsed by Glanville must have been one of the high points of Puskas’ career.


Basil Valentine 11.18.06 at 5:02 pm

George Mikes writes about going to that England game with a fellow Hungarian emigre. Beforehand they had solemnly agreed that as naturalized citizens it was their duty to support England. Once at the game, however, they found that patriotism was one thing, football patriotism another.


John Quiggin 11.19.06 at 3:36 am

#8 Oddly, this sensible rule applies to all Australia-NZ relationships except sport. Any achievement by a New Zealander considered creditable by Australians is automatically appropriated (the Pavlova, Jane Campion, Russell Crowe etc) but a loss to the All Blacks is a bitter blow.

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