Xtratime Community banner
1 - 20 of 163 Posts

2,457 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So Hungary miss out yet again! :( But every cloud has a silver lining. Our day will come!:rolleyes:

As you may be aware next month will be the 50th Anniversary of Hungary's greatest ever victory (and one of world football's most hsitoric games). The 6-3 win at Wembley in 1953.

Does anyone know of special events/books/documentaries coming upi to mark the event. Surely the BBC will re-run the whole match? :cool:

6,867 Posts
it was long before i was born, but that team must have been the best team never to win the world cup (along with Holland 1974/78). Actually my grandpa still talks about the magical magyars, Puskas, Bozsik, Kocsis and Hidegkuti...

80,187 Posts
Hi Ultrafox,

Does anyone know of special events/books/documentaries coming upi to mark the event. Surely the BBC will re-run the whole match?
British TV will not be showing the game :(

anyway whats your story? How can u live in Lux and and be a foxes fan and cheer for Hungary :D

PS> why to people forget about the 7-1? :confused:

2,457 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Bentex,

Long story.

I was born and raised in Leicester with a Hungarian Dad and an Irish mother. I have a house in clifton, Notts, but moved out to Lux 4 years ago through work. I love it here. I still get to follow the Blue Army and i regularly contribute to the Fox fanzine.

You may be interested in an article that 'should' be published in next month's Fox Fanzine in which is about when Puskas played at Filbert st (exactly 30 years ago on 16th Oct 73). I went to see him with my Dad.

If you can't get hold of a Fox fanzine I could mail you the article.

Or even post it to this forum, after it's published.

What's your story? Where in Notts /derby are you?

2,457 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Magyarulez,

Hogy vagy? ;)

Doesn't Hungary celebrate 'football day' every 25th Nov? What usually happens?

Will there be any special events this year?

Commemorative coins, stamps, books? I'd be interested to know.

btw..how does one put a picture onto the handle? Like the boxer or club badges? :confused:

80,187 Posts
I have split the threads ;)

bad news :(

Fifty years later, the British football press still express a great love for the Hungarian team, superbly led by the now ailing Ferenc Puskás, known at the time as the Galloping Major.

The Hungarians, however, seem to have forgotten their legacy.

Many of the team members are no longer alive and the frail Puskás sits in his pyjamas in a Budapest hospital, where he has his own residential suite, paid for by the state.

Once all Hungarian football fans worshipped the Golden Team and many Hungarians knew the names of the squad, which they would recite on the trams, in the schools, workplaces, pubs and even ministries.

Nowadays, the current generation would be hard pushed to come up with even three names off-hand.

According to research by The Budapest Sun, there will be no commemorative fireworks in Hungary, no public party celebrations and no memorial matches played to remember that legendary day
full article


2,457 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey Guys :cool: :cool:

Haven't you hear?:confused:

FOXES NEVER QUIT!!! :D :D :cool: :angel:

Actually they have put a smartfilter on chat sites at work and this site is affected:groan: :groan: , so I can now only pop in from home, and I hate using computers at home....I use them all day at work.

But don't worry;) I shall keep popping in every now and again, but probably not as frequently...I have two young kids who hog the PC at home.:depress: :(

As for Wolves last weekend...I'm still not over it!!:( :mad: :mad:

Still the come back starts on Sunday against Blackburn :D :D

We will stay up:tongue: if only just :rolleyes:

80,187 Posts

England 3-6 Hungary

Friday, 21 November 2003
By Jonathan Wilson

Kocsis (left) stretches for the ball as England goalkeeper Gil Merrick comes out

They had dubbed it the 'Match of the Century' and it lived up to its billing. The meeting of Hungary, the Olympic champions, and England, the fathers of football, seemed like the meeting of near-equals - a head-to-head contest between two sides who believed themselves the best in the world. It turned out to be a thoroughly one-sided affair: Hungary tore England to shreds.

New order
Forget the score; that flattered England. Hungary had 35 shots in the game to England's five. This was a demolition pure and simple, a game that ushered in a new world order. As Geoffrey Green wrote in his report of the game in the Times, England were left as "strangers in a strange world".

Underestimated opponents
Yet they had begun with great self-confidence. "Looking back," the England captain Billy Wright is quoted as saying in Rogan Taylor's book Puskás on Puskás, "we completely underestimated the advances that Hungary had made, and not only tactically.

Kit innovations
"When we walked out at Wembley that afternoon, side by side with the visiting team, I looked down and noticed that the Hungarians had on these strange, lightweight boots, cut away like slippers under the ankle bone. I turned to big Stan Mortenson and said, 'We should be alright here, Stan, they haven't got the proper kit'."

Early goal
He was rapidly disabused. If Hungary felt any nerves about playing at Wembley, they had evaporated within 50 seconds as Nándor Hidegkúti, the deep-lying centre-forward, ran on to Jozsef Bozsik's through-ball, and beat the England goalkeeper Gil Merrick from the edge of the box.

Hidegkúti's second
Hidegkúti then had a goal bafflingly ruled out after a wonderfully fluent move involving Zoltan Czibor and Ferenc Puskás, before Jackie Sewell levelled from Mortenson's pass on the quarter-hour. Sandor Kocsis set up Hidegkúti for a second that did count soon after, and then Puskás struck the goal that defined his generation.

Legendary goal
Cizbor crossed from the right, finding Puskás at the back-post. He shaped to check back, at which Wright desperately hurled himself across goal. "He was expecting me to turn inside," Puskás said. "If I had done he would have taken me and the ball off the pitch and into the stands. So I dragged the ball back with the studs of my left boot and whacked it high into the net."

Crucial strike
It was a goal that would cement Puskás's place in the footballing pantheon - the Hungarian radio commentator that day, Gyorgy Szepesi, even suggested installing a plaque at Wembley to commemorate the drag-back. Crucially, it was also Hungary's third of the afternoon, the goal that put them out of sight. England were reeling, and matters soon got worse as a Bozsik free-kick was deflected past the luckless Merrick.

Mortenson pulled one back, but at half-time Hungary led 4-2, and England, bewildered by Hungary's movement off the ball and their deployment of Hidegkúti as a deep-lying centre-forward, were facing their first home defeat against continental opposition - they had previously lost to the Republic of Ireland at Goodison Park in 1949.

Late consolation
If England harboured any hopes of a comeback, they were swiftly dashed. Merrick reacted well to push Czibor's 55th-minute header against the post, but Bozsik pounced to lash home the rebound. Hidegkúti completed his hat-trick by volleying in a looping Puskás cross, before Alf Ramsey's penalty clawed back some respectability for England.

It was like race-horses against cart-horses

Sir Tom Finney

'The greatest'
Some, but not much. As Sir Tom Finney said, "It was like race-horses against cart-horses. They were the greatest national side I played against, a wonderful team to watch with tactics we'd never seen before." Football would never be the same again.

80,187 Posts

'That little fat fellow'

Puskás in training before the match that made his name

Friday, 21 November 2003
By Jonathan Wilson

Ferenc Puskás was the greatest player in a great team, the tubby genius who made Hungary tick. It might have been Nándor Hidegkúti, the deep-lying centre-forward, who unpicked England's defences that Wembley afternoon 50 years ago, but the goal that everybody went home talking about was the third, when Puskás rolled the ball back with his studs to evade the challenge of Billy Wright, then lashed the ball into the top corner.

Wonderful vision
"I believe that if a good player has the ball, he should have the vision to spot at least three options," said the Hungary right-back Jenö Buzánszky. "Puskás always saw at least five." It was not just his playing ability that marked Puskás out, though: his relationship with the coach Gusztáv Sebes was critical to the development of the Golden Squad.

Footballing child
Puskás never knew a world without football. He was born in April 1927 in Kispest, a village on the edge of Budapest that would become central to the development of the Golden Squad. As a child, Puskás lived in a flat right next to Kispest FC's stadium.

Left foot
His father played for and later managed the club, and family legend has it that almost as soon as he had learned to walk, Puskás began kicking a ball - although, only, of course, with his left foot; Puskás vies with Diego Maradona for the title of the world's greatest one-footed player.

Underage player
Lying about his age, along with Jozsef Bozsik who would himself be a key part of the Golden Squad, Puskás signed for Kispest as a junior in 1936, making his first team debut in 1943. Although criticised for holding on to the ball too long, and his habit of shouting at older players, he soon became a regular.

International respect
Kispest struggled in the league - which went on despite the German occupation and subsequent Russian counterattack - but Puskás was called up to the national squad for the first two post-war internationals in August 1945. Although he was left out of the first game, he scored in the second - a 5-2 win over Austria.

Army team
Puskás took over the captaincy of Kispest in 1946, and results began to improve. Two years later, Gusztáv Sebes was appointed to a three-man coaching committee in charge of the national side. He soon took charge in his own right, a few months before Hungarian clubs were forcibly nationalised by the pro-Soviet government and Kispest became Kispest Honvéd FC, the team of the army.

Conscripted players
Sebes had seen how the great Italy and Austria sides of the 1930s were largely based on one, or at most two clubs, and realised what an opportunity nationalisation presented. Kispest was to house the core of his squad - and players who did not want to join could be conscripted.

'Tremendous understanding'
Working with his players day-in, day-out at Honvéd, Sebes was able to finely tune his tactical experiments. He would even arrange friendlies against other Hungarian clubs who would be asked to take on the tactical shape and characteristics of Hungary's next opponents. "We came to have a tremendous understanding of everything required to play the game," Puskás said.

Happy accident
Sebes might have been pulling the strings, but Puskás was his representative on the field - the man he trusted to make tactical changes during a game. Destiny is easy to impose retrospectively, but the Golden Squad would probably never have existed had Sebes and Puskás not been flung together in a world of nationalised clubs.

80,187 Posts
Sebes' gift to football

By Jonathan Wilson

Nándor Hidegkúti - Sebes' deep-lying striker - here seen "performing" at training at Craven Cottage prior to the England match.

There are very few teams who can genuinely be said to have developed a whole new style of play. The AFC Ajax of Johan Cruyff certainly did, as did Herbert Chapman's Arsenal FC. It is questionable, though, whether either made quite such a profound impact as the Hungary side of the 1950s.

Old methods
England had invented football, and, when Hungary arrived in 1953, they still played in the style of two decades earlier. Chapman had taken the 2-3-5 system, which was practically universal, and, largely in response to the change in the offside law in 1925, tinkered to produce a formation more attuned to counterattacking.

Béla Guttman - architect of the 4-2-4 system

Conservative culture
He withdrew the two inside-forwards back into midfield, and dropped the centre-half - the old No5 position - back into a central defensive role between the two full-backs, creating what was effectively a 3-2-2-3, the W-M. The English were happy with this; there had been no major changes to the laws of the game since 1925, and so there seemed little need to change tactics.

Hungarian innovation
In Hungary, though, tactics were a matter for public debate, and a significant advance was achieved when Béla Guttman, then the coach of MTK Hungária FC, withdrew not the two inside-forwards, but the centre-forward. Realising this left him defensively vulnerable, he also dropped another midfield player back into the defensive line, creating what would become known as the 4-2-4.

England coach Walter Winterbottom

Brazilian style
Gusztáv Sebes soon adopted the tactic for the national team; Guttman would later carry it with him to Brazil, where it formed the tactical basis for the gloriously fluid teams of Pelé, Jairzinho and Garrincha.

England baffled
In England, by contrast, the game was almost robotic. The No2 (right-back) marked the opposing No11 (left-wing), No3 (left-back) marked No7 (right-wing) and No5 (centre-back) marked No9 (centre-forward). Faced with a Hungarian team who interchanged positions, played with two additional forwards and had a central striker who did not even spearhead the attack, they were simply baffled.

To me, the tragedy was the utter helplessness

Harry Johnston

'Utter helplessness'
"To me, the tragedy was the utter helplessness, at times, of being unable to do anything to alter the grim outlook," the England centre-back Harry Johnston wrote in his autobiography.

Altered pitch
But it was not just tactics that turned the game in Hungary's favour. Sebes had prepared meticulously for the game. He became almost obsessive, borrowing three footballs from the Football Association so his side could practise with the heavier English ball, and altering his training pitch so the dimensions matched those of Wembley.

Team play
Sebes was also extremely astute politically. He had impeccable socialist credentials having organised workers at the Renault car factory in Paris between the wars, and regularly insisted that his side played 'socialist football'. The goalkeeper of the Golden Squad, Gyula Grosics, is sceptical about whether Sebes himself believed that claim, but it was music to the ears of the regime. Certainly the Hungarian style was far more rooted in team play than the individualistic English game.

Tactical awakening
Its victory at Wembley that November afternoon was the beginning of the modern age. England were slow to learn, losing 7-1 in Budapest the following May, but learn they did, progressing themselves tactically through 4-3-3 to the 4-4-2 with which the FIFA World Cup was won in 1966.

Major event
It would seem like madness now anywhere in the world to suggest that players should not switch positions, to argue that movement off the ball was not part of football; fluidity these days is everything. The Hungary victory in 1953 took the world a long way towards recognising that.

80,187 Posts

Nándor Hidegkúti was delighted by his starring role in the game (©empics)

'We'll murder this lot'

'We'll murder this lot'
Friday, 21 November 2003
Dubbed by many as the ‘match of the century’, the clash between England and Hungary on 25 November 1953 made huge headlines at the time, as England lost to opposition from continental Europe for the first time at home.

Famous friendly
The 6-3 defeat inspired a book, Learn To Play The Hungarian Way, and later a Hungarian film, 6:3, made by Peter Timar in 1999, as well as no shortage of comments from the players and coaches involved, journalists and well-known football figures. uefa.com rounds up the best quotes about the most famous friendly match of all time.

"For too long English football had drifted along in a complacent daze. That defeat revolutionised the English game. The Hungarians played a system we hadn't seen before - 4-2-4. Their centre-forward played in a deep position about 30 yards away from England's centre-half. But the most impressive feature was their teamwork and watching them rip England apart had a profound effect on me. I started taking a greater interest in coaching."
Sir Bobby Robson, current Newcastle United FC and former England manager

"Gusztáv Sebes [the Hungary coach] was deeply committed to socialist ideology and you could feel it in everything he said. He made a political issue of every important match or competition. He often said that the fierce struggle between capitalism and socialism took place as much on the football field as anywhere else."
Gyula Grosics, Hungary's goalkeeper in the match

"I came away wondering what we'd been doing for all those years."
Legendary England winger Tom Finney, who watched the match from the Wembley stands

"Neither the English, nor any of the other teams we met, seemed able to defend effectively against our tactical formation. If [right-half Jozsef] Bozsik and I joined the attack, we had six strikers advancing, all capable of scoring goals. We used to joke with our defenders sometimes, 'Don't worry if you let one in, we'll score two'. That's how we felt."
Nándor Hidegkúti, Hungary's hat-trick hero

“Look at that little fat chap. We'll murder this lot."
An unnamed English player referring to Ferenc Puskás prior to kick-off

"Wright went past him like a fire engine going to the wrong fire."
The Times reporter Geoffrey Green describes Billy Wright's famed missed tackle as Ferenc Puskás scored in his match report

"For most of us, that was the achievement of a lifetime."
Ferenc Puskás

"England found themselves strangers in a strange world, a world of flitting red spirits, for such did the Hungarians seem as they moved at devastating pace with superb skill and powerful finish in their cherry red shirts."
Geoffrey Green in his Times match report

"The victory at Wembley made the West recognise us, not just in a footballing way. As a small satellite state of the Soviet Union we were usually ignored."
Nándor Hidegkúti

80,187 Posts

Ferenc Puskás (left) could not lead Hungary to victory in the 1954 FIFA World Cup final (©empics)

Twilight of the Magyars

Twilight of the Magyars
Friday, 21 November 2003
By Jonathan Wilson

Gyula Grosics played in the defeat against Germany

For the Golden Squad, the 1954 FIFA World Cup final was the beginning of the end. After going four years unbeaten, on a mud-bath in Basel, Hungary threw away a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2 to West Germany. They were, almost unarguably, the best side in the world, but, like the Dutch 20 years later, they found that mattered little against German resilience.

Bitter atmosphere
"The reaction," goalkeeper Gyula Grosics remembers, "was terrible. Hundreds of thousands of people went out into the street in the hours after the match and on the pretext of football, demonstrated against the regime. The atmosphere was so bitter that its waves could still be felt weeks, even months lat. It could well be that in those demonstrations lay the seeds of the 1956 uprising."

In decline
It was that uprising against Soviet dominance that finally put an end to the Golden Squad, but in truth they had been in decline since events in Switzerland. Coach Gusztáv Sebes was sacked in 1955, and although there was, at last, a first victory over the Soviet Union in Moscow in September 1956, the team was clearly by then well past its best.

On manouevres
A month later, the uprising - and its suppression by the Soviets - began. Kispest Honvéd FC and MTK Hungária FC, the two leading Budapest clubs, both took their players on European tours to get them away from the fighting, and although MTK eventually returned, Honvéd accepted a long-standing invitation to tour Brazil, despite opposition from the Hungarian Sports Ministry.

Defecting westward
When they eventually got back to Vienna, they were told they would be charged over their absence. Not surprisingly, many opted to join western European clubs instead. Ferenc Puskás ended up at Real Madrid CF, Sandor Kocsis and Zoltán Czibor at FC Barcelona, and the time of the Golden Squad was over.

Hungarian legacy
Its legacy, though, lingers on. As Pál Várhidi, a substitute in the 6-3 win at Wembley and later a hugely successful coach of Újpesti TE, says: "The way Hungarians think about football is still very much dominated by the game at Wembley."

Declining fortunes
From 1954, Hungarian football has been on an almost constant downward slope. The team of the 1970s, far inferior to the side of two decades earlier, was derided at the time, but those seem like halcyon days now. It is 17 years since Hungary last competed at the finals of a major tournament.

Different world
"The problem is that we have to deal with the success of the past compared to the lack of success now," says Várhidi's son, Péter. "Football has become more and more popular in other parts of the world and slowly turned into a business. Hungary can't keep pace. I don't think there is less talent being born in Hungary these days, but there is a problem developing it."

Young people today will not make the sacrifices that are necessary to acquire the skills

Pál Várhidi

Lack of desire
His father is less forgiving. For him, it is all a question of desire. "Young people today will not make the sacrifices that are necessary to acquire the skills," he said. "In the 1950s everybody saw football as a way to raise yourself. If you had talent, that was your opportunity, but you had to work hard. Now everybody is satisfied with their situation in society. People have to learn to love football as they did in the 1950s. Now if people are hungry, they stop playing football and go and eat. Football has become a secondary thing."

80,187 Posts
On 25 November 1953, Hungary sent shockwaves across the footballing world with a 6-3 win against England at Wembley. 50 years on, uefa.com salutes the magical Magyars.

Wembley memories haunt Buzánszky

Friday, 21 November 2003
By Jonathan Wilson and Márton Dinnyés

The teams take the field for one of the greatest games in history

Jenö Buzánszky was the forward-thinking right-back of Hungary's Golden Squad, a defender who unsettled opposing teams with his forward forays. Now in his late 70s, the 50 years that have passed since Hungary's epochal 6-3 win against England on 25 November 1953 have not dimmed Buzánszky's memories.

Marvellous reception
"We got a train back to Hungary [after the match], and right from the Austrian border people came out to greet us," he told uefa.com. "When we arrived at Geleti station [in Budapest] there were hundreds of thousands of people packed into the streets. People were hanging from trees just to get a view."

Easy victory
It was a marvellous reception, but entirely fitting for a game in which the magical Magyars completely routed England. "It was a surprise to me that we beat them with such ease, especially after we had struggled to draw 2-2 against Sweden in a friendly only ten days before," admitted Buzánszky.

Tactical genius
For Buzánszky, coach Gusztáv Sebes and his 4-2-4 tactics were the key to the victory. "He had a decisive role in putting it together," said the defender. "It was like arranging cogs in a wheel - everything had to fit. It was a very attack-minded team with five forwards. If you play with such a formation you have to have a strong defence as well."

Brilliant Puskás
Of course, it helped to have a team containing truly brilliant players, and in Ferenc Puskás - Sebes' lieutenant on the pitch - Buzánszky has no doubt that Hungary had one of the very best. "He was one of the greatest footballers of the 20th century," said his former team-mate.

Captain's role
"The role of the coach ends at the moment the whistle goes to start the game; you talk about tactics in the dressing-room, but from then on it's the team who carry out those tactics, whether well or badly," added Buzánszky. "You have to have a captain like Puskás who can say, 'OK, the tactic isn't working - let's play like this'."

Nervous moments
It was a credit to that sense of calm that Sebes and Puskás instilled in the team that Hungary did not allow themselves to be overwhelmed by the atmosphere at Wembley - although Buzánszky freely admitted that there were more than a few nervous moments as his side walked out on to the pitch.

'A holy place'
"It was like a holy place for footballers, so there was a certain anxiety in going out there," he said. "But that feeling only lasts until the first touch of the ball. It was lucky that [Nándor] Hidegkúti scored with the first touch of the game."

Mystery opponents
Buzánszky is keen to emphasise that, with Hungary behind the Iron Curtain, they knew little about England before taking the field. "The Hungarian press hardly wrote about English football, so we didn't know what to prepare for," he said. "We didn't know anything about our opponents because of the political situation.

Pre-match tension
"We played a 2-2 draw ten days before the game against Sweden in Budapest," he added. "It was a very bad sign because we thought the Scandinavian team played in a similar style to the English. There was a great tension inside the team because we thought that the English team would easily win on home soil."

Wonderful memory
Those fears proved to be unfounded. Buzánszky will always have his memories of Hungary's grandstand reception at Geleti station, but his side's performance at Wembley has left a memory for all of football to savour

1st Tier Poster
52,451 Posts
Hungary's football masterclass

On 25 November 1953 Hungary played England at Wembley and, although they were Olympic champions and undefeated in three years, no one game them a chance.

This was, after all, an England side that had never lost on home soil to an overseas team.

Walter Winterbottom's side were made up of players with world-wide reputations, like Stanley Matthews, Billy Wright and Stan Mortensen.

The Hungarians, on the otherhand, were unknown in England.

As Wright pointed out to Mortensen as they took to the field that day, the Hungarians did not even have the proper kit.

But the pre-match ball juggling of captain Ferenc Puskas - a sight fans and players had never seen before in this country - was an indication of what was to come.

England were not merely beaten, but absolutely outclassed.

The visitors brought a new vision of the game to Wembley. Their 4-2-4 system was based on first-time passing by players who ran hardest when they were nowhere near the ball.

Hungary waltzed to a 6-3 victory, with Puskas scoring two goals.

The defeat caused a complete re-think of the English game and had a lasting-effect on all those who witnessed it.

One face in the crowd on that grey November afternoon was a young Sir Bobby Robson.

"We saw a style of play, a system of play that we had never seen before," Robson told BBC One's Football Focus.

"None of these players meant anything to us. We didn't know about Puskas. All these fantastic players, they were men from Mars as far as we were concerned.

"They were coming to England, England had never been beaten at Wembley - this would be a 3-0, 4-0 maybe even 5-0 demolition of a small country who were just coming into European football.

"They called Puskas the 'Galloping Major' because he was in the army - how could this guy serving for the Hungarian army come to Wembley and rifle us to defeat?

"But the way they played, their technical brilliance and expertise - our WM formation was kyboshed in 90 minutes of football.

"The game had a profound effect, not just on myself but on all of us."

The defeat started a revolution in English football. After 90 years of supremacy, England had been forced to concede that another country could play the game better than they could.

Over the next few years Winterbottom, who was also director of coaching for the Football Association, slowly introduced what he had learned from the Hungarians into English football.

The face of the game in this country developed into the 4-4-2 formation used by teams all over the world today.

"That one game alone changed our thinking," says Robson.

"We thought we would demolish this team - England at Wembley, we are the masters, they are the pupils. It was absolutely the other way."


2,457 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Missed the football focus tribute. Was it worth watching? Anything thing else planned for Tuesday?

I'll down a palinka, may even come on here to be amongst fellow fans.

In case no one has read the book "Puskas on Puskas" available on Amazon or Ebay, it a great account of 1953 and 1954. Recommended!!

1 - 20 of 163 Posts