Please don’t look at this last blog post and think “I don’t like football” and then go on your merry way. All of these blog posts have been about much more than football. In particular they concern the eternal battle between sporting genius and cream cakes. In this one, you will see who wins. Were you ever in any doubt?
I’m going to finish just by looking at one or two programme covers from Puskás’ career. Real Madrid, being such a fabulous team, were very much in demand as opponents in friendly games:
Here are the two lists of possible players at this prestige game in Glasgow:
The teams were actually, for Celtic:
Haffey; MacKay, Kennedy; Crerand, McNeill, Price; Lennox (Carroll, 45), Gallacher, Hughes (Chalmers, 45), Jackson, Brogan ( Byrne, 45).
Scorer: Chalmers (62)
And for Real Madrid:
Ariquistain; Casado, Miera; Muller, Santamaria, Pachin; Bueno, Amancio, Di Stefano, Puskas, Gento.
Scorers: Puskas (10), Amancio (30), Gento (61).
The Referee was the same as for the 1953 Wembley game, Leo Horn of Holland. 72,000 watched the game, and you can watch a bit of a different era, here, courtesy of boszikblogspot:
Then came a European cup tie against Rangers of Glasgow:
Full details of the match can be found here . The result was 1-0 to Real, with that fat bloke scoring the goal. In Spain, Real won 6-0 with 3 goals from Puskás. Here is the game in Scotland:
And then came another European game, against Kilmarnock, a tiny club in Scotland who had won the League that year against all the odds. A bit like Luxembourg winning the World Cup, or Leicester City winning the Premier League (just joking!) :
Here are the team line ups:
The result of the game was 2-2 but Puskás did not score. In the second leg Real won 5-1 for a 7-3 aggregate. Puskás was by now 38 years old. The last programme I have which features him is for a testimonial match playing as a 40 year old guest player for South Liverpool against Billy Liddell’s XI at Holly Park in Garston in Liverpool.The match raised £1,100 for Bankfield House, a local community centre:
And here are the team line ups. How absolutely incredible to have a Real Madrid player playing in an obscure testimonial match like this! It is exactly as if Ronaldo went on loan and played a few games for Accrington Stanley:
Willie Moir was a friend of my Dad’s in the RAF. Notice how somebody has written in a team change. That means that this programme was very probably at the game. I do have a programme of the 1953 England-Hungary match where a traumatised English supporter has written the score on the front cover as he made his sad way home on the train. How close to real history is that?
Puskás was beloved by one and all. In 1998, he was named a FIFA/SOS Charity Ambassador. His country renamed their main stadium the Puskás Ferenc Stadion. He was declared best Hungarian player of the last 50 years and in 2009, FIFA inaugurated the Puskás Award for the player who scores the “most beautiful goal” during the past year. Here are the finalists for 2017. I’ll let you find out who was the eventual winner:
Puskás died of pneumonia on November 17th 2006. I think he was the greatest footballer who ever lived.
One final note. I had a second hand operation on February 8th, so I won’t be able to reply to any of your comments for, probably, a couple of weeks. As soon as I am able to, though, I will answer what you have been kind enough to contribute.
12 responses to “Look at that fat bloke, Stan (6)”
Don’t bother to reply to this, even when your hand is well, which I hope won’t be too long
Thanks very much Derrick. I can’t not reply, I’m afraid. I fear I may be addicted to WordPress.
My hand is well on the way to being usable…the four stitches come out next Friday, February 23rd.
Good to see you back, John 🙂
Can’t imagine anyone staying ‘fat’ as a soccer player!!
[don’t reply, John.]
Thank you for your kind intentions but I can’t not reply. I am addicted to WordPress.
Over they years, there have been one or two footballers who were accused of being fat, but it’s becoming very rare today with the knowledge of diet and the fact that players are weighed every few weeks.
In the Victorian era, it was allowed to barge into the goalkeeper if he had the ball. If he went into the goal carrying the bell, then a goal was scored. For this reason goalkeepers were always very large men. One of the largest was “Fatty” Foulke who weighed in at just under 300 pounds. Nobody pushed him around!
Some of those foreign commentators are as entertaining as the games, talk about OTT! A really interesting series John. Hope the hand is better soon.
Thanks very much. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed them. The hand is progressing fine, thanks. One week until the stitches come out!!
The Galloping Major on one side and the Gentle Giant the other. Some testimonial; well worth the admission and a tanner for the programme.
Absolutely. And John Charles was recently voted by Juventus supporters as, still, after 60 years, their best ever foreign player. A real gentleman.
Thank you John for these series of posts. Thank you also for reminding us of your hand. Barring recovery time, is everything all right with it now?
Yes, thanks. Stitches will come out next Friday and I don’t think there will be too many problems, touch wood!
Touch wood John.